SEMA is cancelled for 2020 and rescheduled for Nov 4-5,2021
Update 8/5/2020 – SEMA is officially cancelled for 2020.
According to SEMA’s latest updates regarding show safety THE SHOW IS STILL A GO, the 54th SEMA show scheduled from Nov 3-6 is still scheduled to happen as long as several health and safety guidelines from participating companies and attendees are followed.
In an interview with FenderBender.com, SEMA expressed they are steering away from a 100 percent virtual SEMA, hosted online and, will instead adapt to any state and local requirements pertaining to health and safety regarding public indoor gatherings considering a second wave.
…we haven’t said that we’re going to go 100-percent virtual or anything like that, but we are working in to the plans what can happen if there are restrictions that are going to change the makeup of what we’ve got planned. Then, if something happens like a second wave [of COVID-19], we’re just going to need to adapt it.
What will 2020 SEMA look like if the show continues?
According to SEMA’s 2019 fact sheet there were over 161,000 attendees over four days including 2,400 exhibiting companies. Here is an abbreviated list of ways SEMA hopes to ensure everyone’s safety. You can find the whole list here.
- Mandatory face masks or shields
- 6-feet apart inside and out.
- Visitors must disclose and confirm if they have COVID symptoms or have been in contact with people who have had COVID 19.
- If you aren’t directly involved with an aftermarket company and are just a guest trying to sneak in like prior years, your chances of that happening this year will be harder to reduce overall traffic.
- The entire show layout is configured for mostly one-way traffic, to reduce person-to-person contact.
- Hand sanitizing stations everywhere.
- Hourly sanitizing of high-traffic areas including a thorough nightly cleaning.
- Industry first Outbreak prevention certification.
Risks and opportunities
Being the largest trade show event for the aftermarket community, SEMA has a lot of responsibility on their shoulders to provide a safe and healthy venue for trade-show goers and industry vendors. With presumably millions spent on extra planning and implementation, SEMA has an opportunity to showcase how a safe and healthy trade show event happens amid this global pandemic.
But at what cost?
As of this writing, the chart of additional COVID 19 cases in Clark County, Nevada is still increasing with no signs of slowing.
3 News LV reports 1,000+ new cases and 23 deaths on today, alone. Who knows what the picture will look like in three months.
Events like CES 2021 (which is further away on the calendar than SEMA) Pebble Beach Concours D’Elegance, and countless auto shows have already shifted to a Plan B, wether that means a virtual event, or cancelling the event altogether, recognizing the safety of their guests is more important than one year’s attendance.
Most recognize this pandemic is temporary and, in the name of the greater good, it’s best to shutter an event, if only for this year.
Yes, SEMA is doing their part to ensure their guest’s safety, but can they ensure 100 percent an outbreak won’t happen? Can attendees honestly take the word of fellow attendees they aren’t asymptomatic and truly haven’t had contact with Covid-19?
The aftermarket industry isn’t going anywhere soon. In these uncertain times, the industry has shifted from traditional brick and motor garages and in-person events to emphasis on DIY wrenching, small meet ups, and an uptick sim racing.
It would behoove SEMA to think big picture and long term. One year without SEMA won’t even sway the battleship that is the entire aftermarket industry.
If conditions stay the same or improve, the show will probably continue on with this thorough plan.
But, if conditions worsen, I fully expect SEMA to change course A.S.A.P.
Source: SEMA Show updates.