Bigger? Somehow it was. Better? Without question.

Each year, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, better known tothe world as SEMA, puts together a trade show for the automotive andtransportation world. Each year, somehow, it manages to get bigger thanthe year before. It uses every inch of the Las Vegas Convention Center,most of its parking lot, and spills off into the AAPEX show that runs atthe Sands Convention Center. It's a three-day event that would challengethe biggest car buff that wants to see it all.

Success comes with strategy. SEMA organizers have done a great job inkeeping displays within a section that best defines the product ondisplay. For our purposes, the aisles of the racing and performancesection that stretched the entire length of the convention center werethe main focus. We did sneak out into restoration, electronics, andother areas just to see what was going on.

There are literally miles of aisles. Some reports say if you walk everyaisle once, you walk 22 miles. You usually walk a few of them more thanonce.

The show is designed to allow the manufacturers to display their latestinnovation and their stalwart products to potential customers. No retailselling is allowed. The exchange of business cards with follow up phonecalls and e-mails become the catalyst for achieving identificationgoals. Distributorships and dealer networks become the end result asbuyers rub elbows with racers, hot rod builders, and customizers in amixture of all that is right with the automotive world. Catalogs flyfrom booths, fodder for a plane ride home for many. Numerous socialevents and seminars help fill the day for a showgoer.

This year's event received positive reviews from most as traffic washigh each day. We brought back a few scenes from the show. There will bemore to see in the May issue of Circle Track as we get to theheart of the new products seen for the first time at SEMA. For now,let's just take you into the convention center for a small sample ofwhat the eye could behold.

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