Most years in the past, our SEMA event coverage for the magazine consisted of killer pictures framing out all the best trucks at that year’s event along with a quick three paragraph synopsis of our experience during the show. Before this year’s SEMA show, it was hard to build excitement in editorial by describing an event we go to and feature each and every year. We get it—SEMA is the place to be once a year if you like anything truck related. The coolest builds, the newest parts and the industry’s top individuals all gather to celebrate a passion we all possess. But what happens if a pandemic hits, SEMA closes shop for a year, and the show comes back with an all new layout and federal restrictions like never before? Well, that’s where our editorial excitement comes into play.

Never once did we consider missing this year’s event. We knew there would be a much lighter crowd and fewer vendors on display. But from our point of view, it was a perfect chance to meet with individuals who represent dependable brands. In past years, the large crowds made navigating the halls confusing and lengthy. With fewer people comes less congestion and more opportunity to move around from booth to booth. Fewer people also meant less demand on the individuals we want to talk to. Instead of a five-minute conversation like we had in the past, this year we were able to squeeze 15 to 20 minutes of one-on-one time with valuable leaders in our industry.

This year’s event also provided us with much more exposure and much less media competition since many other companies decided to stay home. Also, for the first time in many years, we included a mini-truck in our booth area, which drew in crowds of fans each and every day. You may remember this Nissan Datsun truck from the cover of Street Trucks as well as recently being named the 2021 Mini-Truck of the Year.

Along with an additional conference hall for the off-road industry, there was an underground Tesla transport loop that was free to ride all day, making the move from point A to point B much smoother. With all the rules and everything to lose, the crew at SEMA pulled off an amazing event with absolutely no egos and no mishaps. We were impressed, and if you were there, I’m sure you were too. Check out some of the best trucks we saw this year’s event, and jump online to see some video footage that we were able to retrieve.

The coolest builds, the newest parts and the industry’s top individuals all gather to celebrate a passion we all possess.