SEMA Show, ConvExx to Part Ways

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is ending its longtime association with, the tradeshow and association management firm that has managed the SEMA Show for decades.

Over the next year, SEMA officials and staff members will take over all operations of the automotive industry show and ConvExx will be phased out, according to SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. ConvExx will continue to operate as a consultant for the time being.

Kersting says the decision to take all the show operations in house is being made in an effort to offer better customer service to SEMA’s member companies.

“This move to internalize more of our

 operations is an important move for SEMA,” Kersting says. “This step allows us to build a better customer service relationship with our members.”

He says that in the future, SEMA’s 6,500 member companies will have a single account representative who will be able to help them, not only with issues involving the SEMA Show, but with all the programs the association offers them.

The SEMA Show, one of the largest annual tradeshows in the United States, sold more than 1 million net square feet of showfloor space at its last show in November and attracted about 126,000 attendees and 2,300 exhibitors.

Kersting says SEMA staff members are prepared to take on all the operations and services of such a large show, scheduled Nov. 4-7 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, including registration and lead retrieval, exhibit sales and housing.

“Over the years, we’ve built the capability to handle those services,” he says. “We’ve always had a history of our people being involved with show operations.”

ConvExx Chairman and Founder Chuck Schwartz, who has managed the show for 32 years, declined to comment and deferred to SEMA officials.

“Chuck Schwartz and his team are among the best in the business,” Kersting says, “but Chuck absolutely understands this evolution and understands why it will be better for our members.”

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Posted by Michael Hart

Michael Hart is the executive editor of Expo. Reach him at View all articles by Michael Hart →