SEMA cancels 2020 convention in Las Vegas

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — SEMA, the second-largest convention in Las Vegas, has been canceled for 2020, organizers said on Wednesday.

The show usually draws about 160,000 in attendance, second only to CES, which brought 175,000 in January before COVID-19 began to take its toll on Las Vegas convention plans.

SEMA — Specialty Equipment Market Association, which features business surrounding the auto industry — usually takes place in November. It has set Nov. 2-5 dates for 2021.

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

Organizers said COVID-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable factored into their decision.

“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,” according to a news release.

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

Organizers said participants have expressed interest in a virtual tradeshow with related live elements, and SEMA will be working 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, SEMA president and CEO.

“We appreciate the spirit, hard work and innovation our industry puts into the SEMA Show each year,” Kersting said. “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.”

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