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COVID-19 Cancels 2020 SEMA Show

The International SEMA Show draws hundreds of thousands of people to Las Vegas, every year, to see the latest in vehicles and aftermarket accessories. Today, organizers admitted the show can't go on.

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While the majority of auto events have already cancelled their 2020 dates because of the Coronavirus, the SEMA show in Las Vegas has dragged its feet. Organizers were hoping that the Specialty Equipment Market Association show would be able to proceed in some form. Those hopes were dashed today, when the organization released this statement.

“The Specialty Equipment Market Association has announced that due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not take place in 2020.”

SEMA Tried Every Avenue to Hold the 2020 Show

It is not for lack of trying. SEMA has been motoring on, planning as if the virus would wane and they would be able to hold the show. Everyone expected that attendance would be down but they anticipated that the show could go on. SEMA draws hundreds of thousands of people to Las Vegas every year. The SEMA show displays the latest in accessories, trends and innovations in the auto business. All of the major automakers support the show, sending examples of vehicles and special add-ons.

“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. SEMA expects the decision will bring much-needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.”

Trend Setters Love the SEMA Show

SEMA will investigate whether there is enough interest to hold a virtual tradeshow with some live elements. Several automotive shows have broadcast live from SEMA over the years. Typically, Mopar and other aftermarket outfitters design specific models and packages to be unveiled at SEMA. The show typically takes up dozens of blocks near the Las Vegas convention center.

Personalization and customization are huge trends in the automotive industry. Vendors display everything from windshield wipers to audio equipment to vehicle lighting and lift kits. Outdoor outfitters display camping gear, coolers and hundreds of different types of tires. Virtually every polish, paint and wax seller has a booth. Pretty much anything you can use to personalize a vehicle is on display somewhere at SEMA.

SEMA Says the Show Will Go On in 2021

“The SEMA Show is committed to furthering businesses in the automotive specialty-equipment market, and to providing manufacturers and buyers with the best opportunity to connect, promote new products and discover new trends,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year. While we are disappointed circumstances prevent us from hosting the Show in November, we look forward to getting everyone together in 2021 for another outstanding event.”

Full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees will be issued.

Follow Mary Conway at @maryconwaymedia and send her car news tips for future stories.

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