The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has announced that the SEMA Show 2020 has been cancelled, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns that event facilities and services would be unavailable.
SEMA said that both it and industry members had been working tirelessly to deliver an “outstanding” event in November, but mounting uncertainty had rendered continuing with the event “inadvisable”. The association added that with the decision to cancel now made, it hoped it would bring much needed clarity to an uncertain picture and help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.
With a recent SEMA Show survey indicating some interest in a possible virtual trade show with related live elements, SEMA said it will work with industry members to determine interest levels on “specific alternatives”.
“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, President and CEO of SEMA. “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.”
With the SEMA Show 2020 cancelled, SEMA said it will issue full refunds for show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees.
Before the cancellation became reality, SEMA had hoped to keep the show running with stringent health and safety requirements. The association had established rules requiring the use of a face mask or face shield, frequent hand washing and social distancing, while also installing hand sanitising stations throughout the show floor, among other measures.
The cancellation comes after a collision industry survey that showed more than half of potential attendees were uncomfortable about attending the SEMA Show in November.