SEMA Cancels 2020 SEMA Show, Virtual Trade Show Possible

SEMA Cancels 2020 SEMA Show Due to COVID-19

Mounting uncertainty has rendered continuing with the event inadvisable, SEMA says.

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, announced Wednesday that 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 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, SEMA said in a press release Wednesday. SEMA said it “expects the decision will bring much-needed clarity to an uncertain picture and will help exhibitors, attendees and partners plan accordingly.”

“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, in a press release. “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.”

Roy Littlefield, CEO of the Tire Industry Association, said in a phone interview Wednesday that the association is deciding on how it will proceed with its events planned at the show, such as its board meeting and members meeting.

“It’s a unique situation. We haven’t had something like this happen in 100 years,” he said, referring to TIA’s 100th-anniversary plans that were to take place at the show.

Littlefield said the association’s 100th Anniversary Gala and International Summit have been rescheduled to take place next year. Earlier this year, TIA canceled its Lobby Day and Environmental Summit that were scheduled to take place in the spring. A myriad of other tire industry events have been canceled this year due to COVID-19.

According to SEMA, recent SEMA Show survey results indicated an interest in a possible virtual tradeshow with related live elements. SEMA said it will be working with industry members to determine interest levels on specific alternatives.

On Wednesday evening, AAPEX announced it would hold its 2020 event virtually.

The announcement to cancel the show comes just a few weeks after SEMA announced preventative safety measures it would take at the show, such as requiring face masks.

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

Updates will be posted to

To see the latest headlines on the 2020 SEMA and AAPEX shows, click here.

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