2014 SEMA Ignited - SEMA Rollout 2.0, Ignited
Oh How We Hate to See You Go, But We Do Love to Watch You Leave
Afew years back the Specialty Automotive Manufacturers Association did something most of us thought was far overdue: It capitalized upon the car show within the trade show. Specifically it started parading the featured vehicles around the building as part of the move-out process. It's sort of a logical evolution of the decision to organize events in the infield at the central hall's main entrance and open it to the public. Though open exclusively to insiders, the show has always attracted hordes of non-attending onlookers. And giving them an opportunity to play a part even, if only in a parking lot, has a halo effect on the vendors not to mention the show itself.
But this year SEMA took things another step further by giving featured vehicles a destination. For its inaugural year the organization coordinated with Caesars Entertainment—parent company to Caesar's Palace—to host the "Ignited" after-party in the lot behind its latest franchise, the newly opened (and by newly we mean October 30th) LINQ.
As an inaugural deal it's natural that "Ignited" suffer some teething issues (primary among them a traffic jam punishing by even Las Vegas standards). As a first-time occasion, however, we consider it successful. Besides opening the lot to featured-vehicle parking, SEMA cordoned off a smaller area for a burnout competition, hired local food truck vendors to cater the event, held a cacklefest, and had celebrities on hand to sign posters. A bird's-eye view was even possible by way of the massive High Roller Ferris wheel adjacent to the lot, provided you had 45 minutes to spare just to make one round, not to say anything of the wait just to ride the thing.
In fact, so successful was "Ignited" that it would surprise us if SEMA didn't follow up with an organized rollout next year. We'd say we'll see you then, but if the show gets any bigger we don't know if we could even find you!