SEMA 2020 will take place onlineSeptember 17, 2020
With any luck, the auto show will return to its previous format in 2021.
The Specialized Equipment Market Association (SEMA) held back from a final decision for several months as the coronavirus continued to spread in the U.S. before finally announcing its official cancellation of the 2020 exhibition last month. SEMA then left the door open for a “virtual exhibit with matching living elements” to effectively take the place of a regular SEMA solo exhibit.
The annual SEMA Show is reborn as SEMA360, an all-digital trade show running online from November 2-6. SEMA promises a simple, streamlined platform where it “will help manufacturers create a simple brand presence that will attract quality domestic and foreign buyers.”
“SEMA360 is the ideal solution to unify the industry at a time when we were all kept separate,” says Chris Kersting, President and CEO of SEMA. “The platform enables qualified buyers to interact with manufacturers, see innovative products, test the best builds of the SEMA Show, and offer industry-leading educational offerings.”
Like a regular trade show, SEMA360 will not be open to the general public — it will only be available to manufacturers, the press and VIP clients. Even with these rules in mind, the annual SEMA Show regularly draws huge crowds in excess of 100,000. Thus, last year the exhibition was attended by about 162,000 people.
SEMA360 promises that “the car will be unveiled by world-class builders” just like in the real show, so none of the stylish custom builds of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 and Toyota GR Supra that the expert teams have worked on will go to waste. SEMA is the first canceled show to announce a virtual alternative: on other occasions, automakers have been forced to plan their own virtual openings. However, with luck, next year we’ll see the real show return.
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