It wasn't a huge shock when an urgent email from the SEMA organization began pinging thousands of vendors, media and car builders stating that SEMA Show 2020 is officially cancelled. In all honesty, as compared to the rest of 2020, we were all but waiting for the other shoe to drop. With so many other events being pushed to next year, including the annual SoCal Eibach Meet, various track events, and other car shows, we were surprised to see it play out this long.
Up until today, the staff at SEMA has been hustling non-stop to try and keep the ball rolling for a show that, quite honestly, doesn't play nice with easily transmitted viruses. Walking shoulder-to-shoulder through convention center halls with tens of thousands of others in America's current state just didn't seem feasible, especially when you consider the large number of attendees that well into their 50s and 60s. Add to that the need for just about all of the Las Vegas Convention Center's staff, from janitorial to food services and security, and the likelihood of getting the state's largest gathering to take place was a tall order.
There are a few things you should know about the annual SEMA event. The first is, it's not a car show. Regardless of what your IG feed tries to tell you the cars on display, often mocked by our community for not being 100-percent complete or rushed, and many times only used as a display vehicle, represent a major part of what makes the event such a huge success. The brand's that bankroll these builds or bring them into their booth space use them as demo vehicles to not only show off what parts or services they have now and are planning for the future, but to help progress the aftermarket.
Whether its domestic or import, performance or aesthetic, beyond the glamour and glitz of photo overload throughout the week, business is being conducted in each and every booth, which helps keep the aftermarket alive. Before you say, "Who cares, I hate new cars anyway," keep in mind that many of the brands on hand also produce parts for the cars you love, and you can't have one without the other - that's not how businesses survive and thrive.
From a media perspective, all of the magazines, websites, blogs and other outlets that make their way to Vegas each year are certainly attending for their own benefit, this team included, but more importantly, we're all helping to spread the word about new products, new brands and helping to remind you about those brands you may have forgotten, along with burgeoning technology and even the trends that are often shaped by SEMA.
The event often gets a bad rap from social media, who pointed out the large number of A90 Supras last year and FK8 Civic Type Rs a few years prior to that, but you need to realize that the excitement and all-out race to produce products for these types of cars matter. They matter because without them, there's isn't a ton to look forward to with new vehicles seemingly watered down time and time again, and without the standouts there to generate interest, our aftermarket support for all vehicles starts to lose steam.
We're not shocked to see SEMA cancelled for 2020, but we're definitely disappointed and, as always, were looking forward to spending hard fought week in Las Vegas collecting as much content and information as possible. It's something we've all done for what seems like forever (over 15 years for myself) and we're going to miss the emotions that come with the deadlines, information overload and lack of sleep that you often hear people complain about, but rarely do you hear about the lifelong friendships, debuts we catch in person, and general feeling of community being amongst thousands of your peers, as we all do our part to keep the aftermarket progressing.
We'll see you in 2021, SEMA crew. Hats off for giving it 110 percent.