October 12, 2018

10 Tips to Maximize your Trip to the 2018 SEMA Show!

The SEMA Show is the largest and best attended automotive specialty products trade event in the world. There are thousands of vendors exhibiting, over 100,000 people in attendance each year and so much to see it’ll make your head spin! As veterans of the SEMA show we can offer some advice on ways to not only survive this massive trade show, but maximize your time there and get the most out of the experience.


Here’s a link to the official 2018 SEMA Show Strategy Guide:

This article is full of tips from SEMA about getting back and forth from your hotel, navigating the show and being successful overall in these 4 days. There is a TON of good information in there!

Our top picks from this list are as follows:

  1. Hydrate:  Hey, the show is in the desert. You need to hydrate often.  There are miles of aisles at the SEMA Show, and you will walk most of them.  You’ll save money by purchasing the water before you get to the show rather than buying at convention center prices.
  2. Educate:  One of the best kept secrets at the SEMA Show are the educational seminars.  There are dozens of business and technical seminars taking place throughout the show week.  All of the courses are listed on the SEMA Show website.  These are free classes, taught by experts, on timely topics including internet marketing, sales techniques and business management.

    SEMA new products showcase
  3. Navigate:  Get the SEMA Show Pocket Guide or download the 2018 SEMA Show Mobile App here.
  4. Spectate:  Take in everything and make sure to visit the New Product Showcase. You’ll see 2 new parts there from Steele! Our Push-Out Window Gasket Set for 1961- 1967 Ford Vans and our Roof Mounted AC Gasket Kit for RVs.


Like I said earlier, this is far from our first SEMA show. Speaking from experience, here are some additional things you may want to consider for your trip:

    1. Make your transportation plan a priority: I’ve read numerous articles saying the convention center is undergoing an expansion right now. This makes transportation to and from the convention center more important than ever before. For a list of all transportation options visit
    2. Plan out your days: Don’t expect to see everything in one day.  In fact, don’t expect to see everything in four days! Therefore, it’s important that you visit the official website to map out your game plan of companies that you would like to visit.
    3. Make appointments: As an exhibitor, we are often overwhelmed by the number of attendees at our booth at one time.  As much as we would like to spend time with every guest, sometimes we simply cannot get to everyone.  To ensure that you get plenty of time to talk with company representatives, contact key companies before the show to set up a meeting time.
    4. Network with peers: Each evening of the show, there are receptions hosted by various councils and committees within the industry, including ARMO (Tuesday night) and HRIA (Wednesday night).  These receptions offer you a chance to meet your peers in the industry and get some free food but they are for members only! If you’re not a member of SEMA or one of the councils already, check out all of the benefits you’re missing out on here!
    5. Follow up: The SEMA Show is a busy time for everyone. With all of the commotion, attention grabbing displays, and constant flood of people there’s no doubt a fraction of interactions get forgotten. Don’t let a memory lapse cause a missed opportunity! Make sure to follow up with the connections you’ll make at the show to seal any open deals.
    6. Visit the Hot Wheels booth!: For their 50th anniversary, Hot Wheels did a tour with the worlds largest traveling car show. They chose a finalist in each of the 15 cities they visited to find cars worthy of becoming their next die-cast car. Their booth will feature ALL 15 of the finalists so you definitely don’t want to miss this! They will declare the overall winner at SEMA and induct them into the Hot Wheels Legends Hall of Fame. Their booth is #61045 located in the Silver Lot.

Chevy Montage built by Bogi’s All Girl Garage

And the most important tip of all…… stop by and see us! Our booth is in Hot Rod Alley (located in Central Hall) #23181. We’d love to show you our new products, talk about what you’re working on, discuss the current trends in the industry and show you how we can help your business. Also, you won’t want to miss our special guest, Dennis Gage from TV’s ‘My Classic Car’ when he visits our booth on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 1:30pm- 2:30pm to meet fans, take pictures and sign autographs!

See you in Las Vegas! 😉

1949 Buick built by Chris Carlson Hot Rods

Steele not only has all the products you need but all the knowledge you need to get the job done right, too. If you have questions about Rubber Parts or Weatherstripping on your Classic Car, Truck or Hot Rod feel free to reach out to us! You can call us at 800-447-0849, contact us through our website at or comment on this post and we’ll get you answers as quickly as possible. Check out our YouTube channel for our full library of how-to/installation videos.

Steele Rubber Products, located in Denver, NC, is a manufacturer and seller of high quality rubber parts and weatherstripping products for classic and vintage automobiles, hot rods, RVs and Boats. Steele offers more than 12,000 parts for American made cars and trucks as well as a large line of universal weatherstripping and rubber parts to be used on any project. Established in 1958, Steele is a trusted name in the automotive restoration industry.

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