Automotive equipment shows cancel Las Vegas dates for 2020

The Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) and the co-located Specialty Equipment Market Association Show (SEMA) have both cancelled their 2020 shows, due to run 3-6 November. Organisers say they will explore virtual options.

The two shows attracted 160,000 attendees between them in 2019, making them the second most attended annual shows in Vegas only behind the Consumer Technology Association’s giant CES show, which announced the cancellation of its in-person January 2021 convention last week.

The loss of CES’s economic impact of around $283m and 175,000 attendees, is now compounded by a further hit of $259m from the two automotive equipment shows.

An organiser statement from SEMA said: “Due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not be taking place in 2020.

“While both event organisers and industry members have been working tirelessly to deliver an outstanding SEMA Show in November, mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable. SEMA expects the decision will bring much needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.

“Recent SEMA Show survey results indicated interest in a possible virtual tradeshow with related live elements. SEMA will be working with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.”

Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO added that the show was committed to providing manufacturers and buyers with the best opportunity to connect, promote new products and discover new trends, adding: “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." Organisers promised full refunds for SEMA Show exhibitor booth deposits and attendee registration fees.

AAPEX, operated by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, said it had cancelled its show because of Nevada’s Covid-19 restrictions on large gatherings and “severe limitations” to global travel.

“We are grateful for our 40-year plus relationship with SEMA and certainly understand and respect their difficult decision to cancel their in-person show,” was the reaction of Steve Hill, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “We appreciate SEMA’s ongoing commitment to Las Vegas and while we’ll greatly miss hosting their exhibitors and attendees.”

SEMA is set to return 2-5 November 2021.