October '21

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64 THE SHOP OCTOBER 2021 SPECIAL REPORT: TRADE SHOWS (EDITOR'S NOTE: As we all know, the ongoing pandemic has made the world an unpre- dictable place. As of this writing, however, the 2021 SEMA Show was set to be held as scheduled, Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas.) H as it really been two years since we've all gotten together? In some ways it feels like yesterday, and in others it seems like forever ago. So much has happened in the world and with all of our businesses, yet so much remains the same. The hope is that we'll be able to discuss it all and more at this fall's SEMA Show. Just thinking about it makes me excited to get to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Here are the three things I'm anticipating most: PRODUCTS It has been extremely tough for manufac- turers over the past two years, first deciding if they needed to lay people off once the pandemic hit, and then quickly realizing they were selling more products than ever. Production slowdowns hurt inventory levels, so now everyone is focused on get- ting products back in stock. Will this affect new product development? We'll see at the show. I am looking forward to having discus- sions with suppliers regarding the chal- lenges they've faced, what (if anything) they're introducing for 2022 and their ideas on how we can continue to grow our industry. The aftermarket has always been ahead of the game when it comes to defining and driving the next wave of automotive trends. I can't wait to see for myself the results of two years of pent-up creativity. INDUSTRY MORALE Since we haven't been able to get together in the way of trade shows, local shows, events or even in-person meetings for so long, it will be great to get somewhat back to normal—back to feeling the energy of the SEMA Show and celebrating the fact that enthusiasts, together with entrepre- neurs, are again doing what they love at full throttle. This fall's event will be a lot different than in years past with the opening of the new West Hall, offering 600,000 square feet of additional display and meeting space. It's a glimpse at the future of the LVCC, as remodels for the North and Central Halls are planned over the next five to 10 years. I was fortunate enough to tour the new West Hall and came away extremely impressed in more ways than I can men- tion, so be ready to be blown away. Also, with the expansion came the opportunity to move the show around a little bit. The new hall will house the Restyling, Truck and Off-Road, and UTV sections, allowing the Collision, Tools and Business Services displays to take over the Upper South Hall. Another exciting and futuristic addition are the new Tesla Tunnels that connect MORE ON THESHOPMAG.COM SEMA Awards Scholarship Funds: LET'S GET TOGETHER By Josh Poulson Why I'm looking forward to the in-person SEMA Show. The aftermarket has always been ahead of the game when it comes to defining and driving the next wave of automotive trends. We'll be able to see what's new at the 2021 SEMA Show.

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