Hello Folks,

We've survived another SEMA convention and doing our best to salvage the remainder of the week- Friday!

Unfortunately, I did not see the entire show; it was too large and I was caught up with vendors far longer than I wanted which left me behind an entire day. With the crowds on day 2, it made the lines to speak to vendors 5-10 minutes longer.

Each year I attend, it's to gauge the sway of the industry. As you all know, I've been part of SEMA for quite some time and consistently attended for 17 years. Without a doubt, I'm the top 5% of people that can make this statement. What was so different? Why so many people? Why so many trucks? I look and look and look and put my camera down and say what's the point? I've walked these halls for hundreds of miles and the models are now fewer and UGLIER, vendors have changed from room to room 17 times and approximately 30-50%+ of the vendors are new to SEMA every year. I think I've figured it out- I'm now 17 years older!!!! Yes, that's it, I was once the young guy and now I'm not, but that's ok............I've gained wisdom from all my mistakes!

The newest section that I found interesting wasn't turbo options, wastegates, performance vendors etc......it was Social Media and Business services that are offered by start-ups by the Millenial age. I was by far older and far more experienced in understanding the marketing of forums, internet, FB, Instagram etc....... There was a section dedicated solely for this and scattered throughout the show I kept finding more and more of this service. How can a person that has only been on this planet less than 25 years tell me about boutique niche markets???? I tried to keep an open mind and had a discussion with Google coders and sales representatives. Their search engines and add words campaign work for the general public and masses when locating general services, but for those that need specialized local services, the search engines don't help as much as one would think. Their algorithm didn't help me find them at the SEMA show as an example. I mentioned to them how SEMA has changed and the sway of the industry for the last 31 years. Some of them were shocked at the length of time I've been in this industry professionally and the volume SEMA information I had; others decided that it was time for a lunch break and Frappacino, Chai Latte or whatever........... (I think 25 is the new 17 and I hope to be wrong. Are people growing up slower now, work less, and can't live without using add words?)

I recall a time when I sought knowledge from all the veterans, but they are mostly no longer at the booths. The sales specialists have far too little experience. I realized that over time- the staff and I are carrying some of the knowledge and there's fewer and fewer skilled people in THE trades and more people want the glorious jobs in Social Media. Soon, that will be saturated and drive starting wages down. However, the 28 years olds will now compete against the 23 years olds to jock for position in the market share. I won't look forward to that during our next convention, which is sooner than later. I've also seen this in the automotive field when newer businesses that "specialize" present opinions over facts.

Diesel and off-road trucks section-

It was so large that my legs could not make the walk down two HUGE rooms. IMO, it would have been 4-7+ hours of non-stop walking to make it through all the isles and speak to vendors. The trucks were so over-the-top, I didn't see the point of owning a dually truck with a lift kit. Then there's the other trucks that use airbags and are so low, you'd scrape grass. The front of the buildings are also saturated with trucks that it can, was and could be a truck convention.

GranTurismo Private Party (I'll post something later than made my age feel much better)-

I was invited to the party through Brembo. It was not as crowded as the previous year. I think this show was so large, that there were other social-networking events at the same time. Good- more free adult-beverages for me and I don't drink- at least not very much and even then..................
I wasn't the oldest, but my mindset probably was........How many people here are really in this industry vs. having a good time at this party? More than 50% I gather. I tried to just chitchat, but found it near useless.........
Again, I'll write something interesting once I upload the picture later.

My pictures weren't great as the crowds were so large, it made it very difficult to capture anything of value; unless that's all you did all day. I will post a few cars that I thought were interesting and again, no models- they weren't so impressive.