Still Hammerin’
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The Postgame Report


o the somewhat age-old saying “Been there, done that” only half applies to my reporting on the 2021 SEMA Show as promised last month. Yes, I’ve been there, but by no means have I done that in the manner in which SEMA ultimately went down, after all the speculation and whatnot.

Was it what I had expected? No. In the overall spectrum, about the only thing evident that I’d anticipated was the lack of certain exhibitors—otherwise, the show was nothing like I’d imagined … and that’s a good thing.

For starters, that void created by those aforementioned non-participating exhibitors was filled quite cleverly by SEMA with areas in which the participating exhibitors and attendees could sit down, take a load off, and have a bite to eat! Furthermore, that void also created larger aisles for us attendees to travel, which, along with the somewhat smaller crowds, made for a much easier SEMA in which to navigate on foot (as well as those who “chose” to navigate via scooter!). The reduced pedestrian congestion, as it were, made for meeting with fellow exhibitors with added elbow room, suffice it to say, but it also made our In The Garage Media booth located smack-dab in the middle of Hot Rod Alley that much more visible—and accessible—for everyone in attendance … that is, if they weren’t distracted by the new fancy 3×2 EFI setup directly adjacent at our neighbor’s booth, or any of the other fancy new products being showcased prominently throughout Hot Rod Alley, which just strengthened our belief that the aftermarket industry is still thriving!

A photo of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) 2021 Business of the Year Award
So, along with the accessibility/visibility and the convenience of getting around not only the entire Las Vegas Convention Center (including the new West Hall via the Tesla Tunnel) but around Vegas in general (to/from the hotels as well as to/from the airport, both of which have been tremendously difficult in the past), there was the mask mandate thing. But it wasn’t a thing, per se—it was just an added aspect of SEMA 2021 … either you abided or you took the risk and disobeyed.

But without question the most memorable aspect of SEMA 2021 was the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) 2021 Business of the Year awarded to us, In The Garage Media! That’s right, after a little over a year in “business,” our collective 100-plus years in the industry was acknowledged accordingly for supporting the aftermarket and keeping print alive! What an honor, to say the least!

In closing, I strongly suspect the SEMA Show will never be what it once was—and that’s not a bad thing. SEMA is here to support us, and as long as they do we’re here to support them! Thank you.