Both in-person AAPEX, SEMA shows canceled for 2020, organizers announce

The Auto Care Association and AASA, which co-own AAPEX, are exploring virtual options for the fall, the letter states.

AAPEX and SEMA have been canceled for 2020, citing the health and safety of attendees, exhibitors and partners, organizers of each show announced Thursday.

A letter signed to members Thursday by Bill Hanvey, president and CEO of the Auto Care and Paul McCarthy, president, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, states:

“We are writing you to inform you that due to the expanding spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting local, state, and federal limitations placed on gatherings, businesses, and travel, we cannot proceed with the in-person AAPEX scheduled in Las Vegas this year.”

The Auto Care Association and AASA, which co-own AAPEX, are exploring virtual options for the fall, the letter states.

In a press release, McCarthy added, “This was a difficult decision but circumstances on the ground made it impossible to have the show that we planned for our exhibitors and attendees. AAPEX and your industry associations have, and will continue, to support industry growth, pursue industry advocacy, ensure members’ safety, and do what is right for our industry.”

SEMA organizers sent a similar notice to the industry. “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 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. “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.”

“AAPEX attendees and exhibitors are essential to keeping the motoring public on the road, even during times of crisis. We work in a dynamic industry and change has always been embraced by our predecessors and the 4.7 million men and women who now currently work to keep our industry at the forefront of the economy. AAPEX didn’t become the extraordinary event it is today by thinking small and not evolving to changing times and circumstances,” said Hanvey in a press release. “While we had hoped to meet in person, we are excited to use technology to bring together the supply chain of essential services to conduct business.”

A press release from AAPEX show organizers said, “Given the State of Nevada’s recently announced long-term mitigation strategy for the COVID-19 pandemic, which has indefinitely prohibited events with more than 50 participants, and the severe limitations on international and domestic travel imposed in connection with the pandemic, unfortunately, the traditional in-person event cannot proceed.”

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