The AAPEX 2020 show will no longer be held as an in-person trade show event this year – organisers say they will now provide a virtual experience, with many of the show’s same elements presented digitally. The COVID-19 pandemic and related government prohibitions and restrictions are behind the change.
Nevada recently announced a long-term mitigation strategy for the pandemic which has indefinitely prohibited events with more than 50 participants, along with severely limiting international and domestic travel.
AAPEX planners say they will instead refocus their efforts on the new virtual 2020 event to bring together the more than US$1 trillion global automotive aftermarket community, and enable exhibitors to introduce new products to their customers and additional domestic and international target buyers. The virtual event will be held the week of 3 November, the same week as the original AAPEX 2020, with additional details to come from 19 August.
“AAPEX attendees and exhibitors are essential to keeping the motoring public on the road, even during times of crisis,” said Bill Hanvey, President and CEO of the Auto Care Association. “We work in a dynamic industry and change has always been embraced by our predecessors and the 4.7 million men and women who now currently work to keep our industry at the forefront of the economy. AAPEX didn’t become the extraordinary event it is today by thinking small and not evolving to changing times and circumstances. While we had hoped to meet in person, we are excited to use technology to bring together the supply chain of essential services to conduct business.”
“This was a difficult decision but circumstances on the ground made it impossible to have the show that we planned for our exhibitors and attendees,” said Paul McCarthy, President of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA). “AAPEX and your industry associations have and will continue to support industry growth, pursue industry advocacy, ensure members’ safety and do what is right for our industry.”
Show organisers have established a FAQ page on their website addressing some common questions regarding the move from a physical event to virtual.
AAPEX will return to the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas in 2021, with tentative dates of 2 to 4 November.
AIA Canada had already cancelled its Canada Night event one month ago, which was due to run at AAPEX 2020.