LAS VEGAS — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has revealed plans for an online marketplace, called SEMA360, for Nov. 2-6 in place of the in-person SEMA Show it canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Without the large annual gathering at the Las Vegas Convention Center, SEMA created the online marketplace for industry members seeking a "viable marketplace solution in the absence of" the show, SEMA said.
Diamond Bar, Calif.-based SEMA canceled the 2020 SEMA Show Aug. 5 due to the uncertainty that the COVID-19 pandemic presents in trying to stage a major convention and trade show.
"The industry made it clear there is a void to fill," Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events, said. "SEMA360 addresses that need by leveraging SEMA's exclusive buyer database to connect manufacturers with resellers."
SEMA360 will include what the trade group calls a "simplified platform for manufacturers to showcase their new products and innovations."
The offering also will provide "efficient interaction between manufacturers and resellers for quality business exchange," SEMA said. There also will be SEMA vehicle reveals and educational offerings.
Exhibition cost is $495 for SEMA members and $1,495 for non-members. Attendee registration will open in mid-September and will be free to qualified buyers who are SEMA members. Non-member attendees will pay $25.
More information and registration is available at semashow.com/360.
"Creating a platform where the industry can gather and discover new products and trends has always been a SEMA priority," SEMA CEO Chris Kersting said.
"SEMA360 is the ideal solution to bring the industry together at a time when we've all been kept apart. 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."
SEMA360 will coincide and overlap with the virtual conference being organized by the backers of the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX), which also was forced to cancel its 2020 event, scheduled for Nov. 3-5, 2020, at the Sands Expo and Caesars Forum Conference Center in Las Vegas.
The organizers of AAPEX — the Auto Care Association (ACA) and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association — had pledged to unveil details of their virtual event by Aug. 19 but as of Aug. 28 the website still displayed a "Stay Tuned for Details on the Virtual AAPEX Experience" banner.