The 2020 SEMA Show Is Toast
Big gatherings of people who’ve traveled from across the country — and globe — continue to be unpopular, and for very obvious reasons. So it’s no shock to hear that the 2020 edition of the popular Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show will not go ahead as planned.
Scheduled for early November, the show, as in past years, would have provided the usual catnip for the aftermarket crowd. Assembled at the Las Vegas Convention Center, they’d ooh and ah over the latest accessories on offer from aftermarket manufacturers and OEMs alike. Organizers claim they still haven’t decided what, if anything, will take its place.
With the coronavirus still marching through the U.S., going on with the show was out of the question.
“While both event organizers and industry members have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding SEMA Show in November, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable,” organizers said in a statement. “SEMA expects the decision will bring much-needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.”
An online exhibition of some sort seems likely, at the very least.
“Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual tradeshow with related live elements. SEMA will work with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives,” the group said in a release.
The cancellation of the real, in-person SEMA show is just the latest trade show to fall victim to the pandemic. Last month, it was announced that the 2021 edition of the Consumer Electronics Show — another Las Vegas tradition — would not take place in January. The LA Auto Show, slated for late November, remains a go, officially, at the present moment, though few believe it will actually go ahead as planned.
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The convention industry is how I've made my living for 30+ years. I don't anticipate being back to work until 2023 at the earliest.
I'm shocked that it took them so long to cancel it.