pri announces sale of event to motorsports giant sema
The Performance Racing Industry racing aftermarket manufacturers event announced the sale of their popular mid-winter event, held in recent years in Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, to event competitor Specialty Equipment Market Association, known internationally for their hugely entertaining Las Vegas mega-show.
For event background and photos read my coverage of SEMA here, and my PRI experiences here. Both shows offer numerous educational and motivational opportunities.
According to the press release, PRI staff will remain in Laguna Beach, while the long-running event will remain in Orlando.
Both venues are extremely popular with their respective audiences, and enjoy a fair amount of crossover attendance from other segments, including powersports. SEMA’s profile skews more towards automotive and, by extension, motorcycle customizing, with emphasis on paint, accessories, and electronics.
PRI, on the other hand, is a big tent. This cross channel, hard core racing and performance venue aters to racing organizations, their fans and members. Representing everything from entry level karting to NASCAR Cup competition to ALMS to NHRA, if it uses an engine – whether tractor pulling, boat racing, a road circuit or speedway event – PRI is the marketplace for manufacturers. Notably absent: powersports, although this is prime territory for exploitation and well worth the investment.
What this might mean in the long run is unknown. At the very least, I’d expect SEMA to leverage the PRI venue as some kind of enhanced exhibitor bonus. Having attended SEMA seminars at PRI in the past, they’re no strangers to the racing market profile specific to PRI.