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SEMA360: The Show Must Go On (Online)

We have been following the development of the 2020 SEMA Show all year amongst the coronavirus pandemic.  There was a lot of effort put in by organizers to create a safety plan for visitors that would allow the show to go on as scheduled.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 and concerns that event facilities and services would be unavailable, the SEMA Show was cancelled for 2020.  Despite the best efforts of event organizers and industry members, growing uncertainty brought them to the decision to halt the event.

There was however quite a bit of chatter about a possible virtual tradeshow with related live elements. And with a lot of ingenuity and perseverance the organizers of SEMA Show have come up with an online alternative.

SEMA360 will be a completely digital trade show that will be held online from November 2 through 6. It will be an online marketplace where manufacturers and buyers in the specialty automotive sector can connect.

“SEMA360 is the ideal solution to bring the industry together, at a time when we’ve all been kept apart,” says SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “The platform allows qualified buyers to interact with manufacturers, see innovative new products, check out top SEMA Show builds, and take in industry-leading educational offerings.”

“The industry made it clear there is a void to fill,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events. “SEMA360 addresses that need by leveraging SEMA’s exclusive buyer database to connect manufacturers with resellers.”

Key features of SEMA360 include:

  • A simplified platform for manufacturers to showcase their new products and innovations
  • Efficient interaction between manufacturers and resellers for quality business exchange
  • SEMA vehicle reveals from world-class builders
  • Industry-leading education focused on professional development and new strategies
  • SEMA’s unrivaled media contacts amplifying news, products, and innovations to a world-wide audience

Just like the in-person show, SEMA360 won’t be open to the general public.  Only manufacturers, the media, and qualified buyers will be able to attend the online event. Even with these strict entry requirements, the annual event typically draws huge crowds well in excess of 100,000 people. The 2019 show had over 162,000 people in attendance, with nearly 2,300 vendors exhibiting their new products.

It will be interesting to see how this online event plays out.  If successful, we could see it becoming an alternative to travelling to Las Vegas for the in-person show for those that just cannot make the pilgrimage.

Hopefully 2021 will be a better year for everyone and the regular SEMA Show can go on without any hitches.  In many aspects, it is the world’s most premier automotive event and there is magic in the air at the Las Vegas convention center that just cannot be replicated online.

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