On the Road Again: Looking Ahead to the 2021 SEMA Show
The anticipation around the annual SEMA Show is always electric. The automotive aftermarket’s biggest event, with over 2400 exhibiting companies representing a $46.2 billion industry, holds a different meaning for every person with Tuesday, November 2 circled on their calendar.
For builders, it’s the deadline for finishing jaw-dropping vehicle projects that will be unveiled at the annual event. For brands, it’s the launch pad for new products and the chance to connect with buyers and industry influencers. For just about everyone in attendance, it’s the automotive equivalent of counting down the days to a trip to Disney World.
And after the unprecedented events of 2020 found us doing many things virtually – even large-scale events like the SEMA Show – it marks a sort of industry “family reunion” as brands, buyers, and builders will once again mix and mingle at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The excitement is also building at Brenton Productions, where plans are in the works for multimedia coverage of this year’s SEMA Show – including a prime-time TV special for MotorTrend network, social media content tied to the TV special, and a collection of podcast episodes profiling various builders as they prepare to exhibit their automotive creations.
“SEMA is the best time of year for us,” says Matt Allegretti, Senior Producer at Brenton Productions. “It’s one of the highlights of our production season.”
Brenton Productions’ SEMA Show coverage kicks off with “The Road to SEMA”, a special miniseries of the Two Guys Garage Podcast in which hosts Kevin Byrd and Willie B will check in with the Ring Brothers and other builders as they work to complete the stunning vehicles that will be showcased in Las Vegas.
Willie B himself is in the middle of building a car for exhibition at the show, which Executive Producer Bob Ecker says helped inspire the miniseries scheduled to begin September 2.
“We launched the Two Guys Garage Podcast at SEMA in 2019, and in less than two years we’ve published more than 130 episodes,” says Ecker. “As SEMA (hopefully) returns to its in-person roots this year, and with Willie building a vehicle for the Show, it seemed like a natural for us to create a series of podcasts keyed to the growing excitement and pent-up demand for this much-anticipated homecoming in Las Vegas.”
The Two Guys Garage Podcast will also be present at the event itself, where Willie and Kevin will record interviews with some of the biggest names in the aftermarket and provide their own unique perspective on the SEMA Show.
Meanwhile, pre-production is currently underway for the High Performance Road Trip, MotorTrend’s prime time SEMA Show special.
“To appreciate these builds, you really need to see them up close,” says Allegretti, who anticipates that with an extra year away from the in-person event, the booths will be filled with new products and builds that the audience has not had a chance to see in previous shows.
Allegretti and the rest of the special’s producers, hosts, and crew enjoy the “scavenger hunt” nature of the SEMA Show, seeking out what booths and builds to showcase for the viewers at home.
“It truly is a highlight show through our hosts’ eyes,” Allegretti says. “The three hosts get to find projects and parts that jump out to them.”
The roster for this year’s one-hour special includes Truck U co-hosts Matt Steele and Bruno Massel, who bring along their signature mix of automotive knowledge and good-natured ribbing – as well as industry influence. The pair, who have worked together on Truck U for over 15 years, were honored at the SEMA Show by the Truck and Off-Road Alliance as Influencers of the Year in 2018.
The completion of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new 1.4 million square foot West Hall means even more show floor to cover this year, but Massel and Steele will have help. Bringing her own expertise to the talent lineup is April Rose, a new face to Brenton Productions and MotorTrend.
“I think Brenton has always proved in the past that we can find talented automotive hosts, and April Rose is no exception,” says Allegretti. “With over a decade of experience working in the car industry, she has a unique perspective of how builds have changed, and she’s interviewed many of the automotive aftermarket’s top players over the years.”
In addition to capturing the excitement of the SEMA Show for MotorTrend, Brenton Productions will have a social media team on site, creating custom content for some of the brands participating in the prime time special. For the first time ever, Brenton Productions will bring branded content beyond the show floor and the TV screen, finding more ways to connect with the highly-targeted audience of automotive enthusiasts and professionals who tune into the prime time special every year.
The countdown is on for the automotive aftermarket’s biggest event. Will we see you there?