The lights of Las Vegas are calling—will you answer?
BY DARRYL SIMMONS
It’s almost the most wonderful time of the year—that is, in the minds of automotive aftermarket professionals. There is less than a month until the 2021 SEMA Show. In 2019—the last time the Collision Repair mag team walked the SEMA Show floor—the world was a much different place. In 2019, we weaved between the booths blissfully unaware of the pandemic awaiting us beyond the calendar flip. The New Product Room reverbrated with excitement over new tools and predictions for the decade upon us. AIA’s Canada Night was a night to remember, as always, and jokes were tossed haphazardly, comparing the year 2020 to its predecessor a century prior, the Roaring Twenties. On the final day of the show, we bid adieu with a simple “see you next year!”
If only we knew. Alas, no time to dwell. Instead, let’s get excited for the almighty homecoming of SEMA and AAPEX. From November 2 through November 5, more than 1,300 exhibitors will take to the Las Vegas Convention Center for SEMA. Six minutes down the street from SEMA, this year’s AAPEX will run November 2 through November 4, with dozens of speaker sessions on repair trends to watch. For the first week of November, the Las Vegas strip will become the automotive aftermarket hub of North America.
Further, by the time we arrive, it’ll have been two years since our last Vegas charade. Two years since we experienced the same wealth of resources, all together in the same place. As an industry, we’ve been craving connection; the time to link up has finally arrived.
Of course, some friendly faces will be missing from this year’s SEMA Show; SATA, PPG, Sherwin-Williams and Spanesi, to name a few. We’ll miss their spectacular booths but, if we cross our fingers hard enough, perhaps they’ll be back for SEMA 2022.
To all the readers heading into the Las Vegas trenches in November; come say hi! Collision Repair magazine will have its own space—Booth #34223—on the show floor this year, where we’ll be handing out magazines, swag and insight aplenty. Stop by! For those not attending—we’ll see you in 2022!