While CES gets a fairly high profile due to the mainstream appeal of digital cameras, portable music players and flat screen TVs, the two shows have a similar impact on their respective industries and are both open only to industry professionals rather than the general public. Both shows are held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, where SEMA attracts a little more than 100,000 people and about 1,700 vendors, and CES attracts roughly 126,000 people and hosts 2,500 vendors. The mass appeal and generally pricier nature of consumer electronics mean the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) represents about $172 billion worth of business where as the more specialized SEMA represents an industry that does about $34 billion worth of business each year.
SEMA has been drawing an increasing amount of mainstream attention thanks to heavy participation from automakers like Ford, General Motors, Kia, and Toyota. Even alternative transportation concepts have begun popping up at SEMA – we found several exhibitors that just a few years ago would have seemed entirely out of place given the show's bling and speed slant.
Click the image below to watch TRANSLOGIC 8.1: SEMA + X Prize Winners: