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My trip to the AAPEX/SEMA trade show in Las Vegas

Alex goes to the 2019 AAPEX/SEMA show

By Alex Steil

I was absent from school from Novmber 4th through the 8th. So when I returned on the 11th, here’s what I heard:

Friend:  “Alex, where did you go?”

Me: “I was in Las Vegas for a trade show.”

Friend: “What’s a trade show?”

So I had to explain. The trade show I went to was the 2019 AAPEX/SEMA show. AAPEX stands for the American Automotive Parts Exposition. SEMA stands for the Specialty Automotive Manufacturers Association. Both events are for parts manufacturers to show off their products to auto parts store owners, automotive shops, specialty automotive fabricators and racing shops.

The show is held in Las Vegas, Nevada and it’s one of the largest trade shows in the country, with over 2,500 exhibitors and 48,000 attendees. This year, I was lucky enough to attend as an editor for this blog.

On the first day, I was overwhelmed with the size of the show and the number of attendees. I was lucky to go with my grandpa who had been to the show before. If I had gone alone, it would have been much harder to understand.

The amount of knowledge you need to know about every car part astounding. We saw exhibitors selling everything from tires all the way down air conditioning parts and automotive tools.

The first booth we stopped at was the Schumacher battery charger company, which gave me quite a few ideas for upcoming stories. They make gear to check battery health and recharge car batteries.

There are also phenomenal seminars that are geared towards anyone. Members of the press, shop owners, and industry moguls attended to learn more about the auto industry. The most interesting seminar was about “Five Automotive Trends.” The speaker talked about the future of cars, whether electric, sedan or SUV and the shifts in buying trends. The biggest take from that seminar is the fully electric vehicles are not coming as fast as everyone says they are. The spike in sales was simply due to Tesla o filling their order backlog.

Being there as a member of the press meant we could hang out in the media centers at each show. That’s where journalists can take a breather, get refreshments while they sit and file their stories using the media center’s wifi.

We had appointments set up with some of the biggest companies in the industry, like Meguiars Car Wax, 3M and RedLine Oil. We also met some auto start up companies like Phase Zero, a company that helps auto technicians access online parts and ordering databases. The shop technicians can access the database using Amazon Alexa or a Google Home instead of typing the information into a computer. That will help bring shops into the 21st Century.

I also attended my first V.I.P. Press Reception at the Las Vegas Country Club. The event was sponsored by CTEK, a battery charger manufacturer. We heard from the company CEO about future product innovations. It was fun and it also helped that they had really good pizza.

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat

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