SEMA answers your top COVID-19 questions in advance of the show

Sept. 3, 2021
Currently, the 2021 SEMA Show is not requiring proof of vaccination or a negative test, but state of Nevada requires masks indoors.

SEMA has released a Q&A with its vice president of events, Tom Gattuso, to answer some commonly asked questions about the upcoming show, taking place Nov. 2-5 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The article comes on the heels of the AAPEX Show announcing it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test for its event, which takes place at the same time in Las Vegas.

Q: If the two events share registrations, why are there two different health and safety policies (or strategies) in place? Wouldn’t it be easier to just have one policy that applies to both events?

A: The COVID landscape is complicated, and organizations are making decisions and planning in their own ways. SEMA believes that we will serve our industry best by having the benefit of some time, which will give us more current and reliable decisions from state and local authorities for the event taking place in November. We’ve seen a lot change in the past few weeks, and we anticipate more changes to come. We’re working with Nevada authorities to understand what will be needed for the SEMA Show. We believe we will have a better read in the weeks ahead and will act accordingly.

Q: Is there a chance SEMA will implement the same measures AAPEX and other events are implementing, and require proof of vaccination in order to attend?

A: It’s not possible to know with certainty today what the Nevada requirements will be in November. Rather than speculate on what may or may not be required, we are closely monitoring the COVID landscape and working with state and local authorities, and we will share details that the industry can rely on as soon as we can.

Q: It sounds like masks are required at all indoor events in Las Vegas. Should I be prepared to have to wear a mask all day long while at the SEMA Show?

A: Currently (as of this Sept. 1, 2021, interview), Nevada does require that masks be worn by everyone while indoors in Las Vegas, but that may change. We will have to assess the situation and the requirements that will be place, and it’s just a bit too early to make that determination. We’ll know more in the coming weeks. Also, there is more than a million square feet of outdoor activation space, including feature vehicles, displays, drifting and ride and drive experiences, where masks are not required.

Q: Doesn’t SEMA have an option to require proof of vaccinations from attendees, and then not require masks to be worn the entire time?

A: That is not currently an option for events such as trade shows in Las Vegas. Nevada recently announced an option for fixed-seat event organizers—such as concerts and football games—to require proof of vaccination from attendees in Las Vegas, and not require masks be worn. It seems that many do not realize that this option does not apply to trade shows—the current requirement in Nevada is for masks to be worn by all individuals while indoors in Las Vegas regardless.

This is an example of the confusion that recent changes have created. We will have greater clarity about the November requirements for trade shows in the coming weeks, and will announce details at that time.

Q: What are the other health and safety measures for the SEMA Show that are in place?

A: The basics for a successful 2021 SEMA Show are already in place and we are prepared for the industry to reconnect in November. Inside the LVCC, there is an upgraded GBAC Star Certified Air System. This is a hospital-grade system and represents the highest standard for daily cleaning and sanitization. The new West Hall also provided us with higher ceilings and 25 percent more space, so we can spread out more and have wider aisles throughout the entire convention center and accommodate attendees to distance more freely. We will also have hand-sanitizing stations throughout the event, and daily cleaning in high-traffic areas.

We also know that, unlike a year ago, trade shows today are taking place successfully throughout the country. A year ago, gatherings were limited to no more than 250 people. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, 17 events are scheduled to take place between now and the SEMA Show.

For more information or to register for show, visit www.SEMAShow.com.

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