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SEMA backflips, cancels 2020 show

Three weeks ago, SEMA was going ahead. Now, it's been cancelled. COVID-19 has claimed another motor show victim.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Deputy Editor

Organisers of the world’s largest automotive aftermarket show, SEMA, have reversed course and cancelled the 2020 show because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The move is a significant backflip from the organisers, who less than three weeks ago said SEMA would be going ahead.

“Due to COVID-19 and concerns that event facilities and services will be unavailable, the SEMA Show will not be taking place in 2020,” organisers said in an online statement.

“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.”

Organisers will refund exhibitor booth deposits and registration fees. The next SEMA show will take place in November 2021.

The original plan to run the show promised to protect attendees from COVID-19 with thermal cameras to detect fever, sanitisation of frequent touch points, a focus on contactless food payments, and mandatory face masks or shields.

Traffic through the aisles would have been one-way where possible, and pre-registration was encouraged to cut the number of people milling around at the start of the show. The plan is outlined in the video below.

The show last year attracted more than 160,000 visitors over four days

The 2020 Geneva motor show, Detroit motor show, New York motor show, Beijing motor show, Paris motor show, and the 2021 Geneva motor show have been called off because of COVID-19.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie

Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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