DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (March 12, 2004) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) called its recently concluded 2004 SEMA Spring Expo the biggest regional show the association has organized to date, drawing a record crowd to the Indianapolis event.
The Diamond Bar-based association held the Expo March 5-6 in the Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis, with a day of seminars preceding the exhibit, which featured nearly 200 displays.
Peter MacGillivray, SEMA vice president of marketing and communications, said the “record-breaking attendance numbers tell one part of our success story. But the compliments about the educational program, the diversity and pertinence of our exhibitors, and our off-road proving ground previewing next year's Off-Road Pavilion at the (SEMA) Show (in Las Vegas) tell a more important part of the story.
“Those compliments tell us that SEMA has developed the correct recipe for this event combining restyling, light-truck accessories and automotive's extreme sport—off-roading.”
SEMA said a new Expo feature—and one of its most popular—was the off-road proving ground, where professional drivers demonstrated the skill of rockcrawling on a UROC (United Rockcrawling & Off-Road Challenge) obstacle course constructed of dirt and rocks. “Crowds surrounded the obstacle course every time the buggies fired up for their demonstration” in what SEMA described as one of the most rapidly growing segments of the enthusiast world.
This was SEMA's third annual Spring Expo. The 2002 event was held in the Chicago area; last year's Expo was in Nashville, Tenn.
The association said attendance figures have not yet been audited but preliminary reports show an increase of approximately 65 percent in buyer attendance, and 30 percent in total attendance from the February 2003 Expo in Nashville.