SEMA is not open to the general public. You must be associated to the auto industy in order to gain access. I'm going because my brother-in-law has a business in the industry. I'll take a lot of pics & will post when I get back on November 8th. Over 2 million square feet of vendors from over 100 countries(lasts 4 days).
while mostly everyone owns a car in the general public, not everyone is an automotive freak or enthusiast. All of the members of this site contribute to the development and growth of the automotive industry especially the Celica. Many members either have spent thousands or will spend thousands on industry products, while at the same time promoting these products to Celica members and to owners of other vehicles. Associated is a very loose term, and IMO ecelica members are more than qualified.
But even people much less qualified than ecelica members got in simply because they went along with someone who owned a business or ran a race team (anyone can run a race team if you "make purchase decisions").
So yes I agree, SEMA is not open to the general public, meaning not everyone can just walk into it like a casino. You just need a reason.