SEMA 2020 is canceled

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Brandan Gillogly

It’s an unfortunately familiar refrain these days: Another automotive event has been canceled due to COVID-19. The 2020 SEMA Show, typically held in November at the Las Vegas Convention Center, will not occur this year; neither will the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) that typically accompanies it.

As recently as July 16, show organizers were still hard at work trying to find a safe way to host the show. All show goers were required to wear a face mask or face shield, routes along the show floor would be one-way only, and high-traffic areas would be sanitized hourly. However, “mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event unadvisable,” according to a statement issued today by SEMA.

Jeep roof top tent SEMA 2019 Gladiator Rubicon
Brandan Gillogly

Last year’s event saw SEMA host 2400 exhibiting companies and roughly 162,000 attendees. As many as 1800 exhibitors planned to attend the 2020 show. Though there’s not official plan yet, SEMA announced that “Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual trade show with related live elements,” and that “SEMA will be working with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.”

For now, however, SEMA as we know it will not happen this year. If you’d already put down a registration fee or a deposit on a show booth, SEMA promises you a full refund.

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