In November of 2020, we published this as part of an article about our 2021 Conference: “Therefore, for the first time since we began in 1999, we are canceling our Annual Conference for 2021. On the positive side, looking forward to 2022, hopefully we will be well past the Covid crisis, and ready to go to Wichita, Kansas, and visit the home of one of our favorite Vendors: Sharpline!”
Little did we know then that almost a year later we would still be fighting the Covid pandemic!!
2021 SEMA UPDATE:
For almost 20 years the RI Board has attended SEMA, networking with RI Members that attend. And since 2014, we have had a booth at SEMA to support our Vendors and attract new Members.
What about SEMA 2021? Well, we had big plans. We had paid for our booth and designed a new display. We had a prime location in the new West Hall. And we were really looking forward to being there again!
But there were 2 big concerns we had in attending:
- The danger it posed to RI staff to be exposed to thousands of people in an environment that we have little control over.
- The fact that several of our key RI Vendors have pulled out also, including Solar Gard, Roadwire, and Racesport Lighting.
Because of this, we recently decided that we would not attend SEMA this year. However, assuming we are past the Covid pandemic, we DO plan to display at SEMA again next year in 2022.
2022 RI CONFERENCE UPDATE:
That brings us to the question: ‘Will we have an RI Conference in February of 2022?”
To have a February Conference, we all have to make plans many months in advance. And with Covid on the rise again, we really don’t know what the situation will be like in February. In view of this, we feel it would be irresponsible for us to ask our Members to get on airplanes and travel cross country to attend a Conference until we are certain that it will be safe to do so.
IN VIEW OF THIS, WE FEEL WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CANCEL PLANS FOR A FEBRUARRY 2022 RI CONFERENCE!
Hopefully, we can get past this pandemic in the next year and we can all unite again early in 2023 at Sharpline’s newly remodeled facilities in Wichita, Kansas!!
WE MISS YOU!
We really miss seeing all our friends, both Members and Vendors, that we have grown accustomed to sharing time with, both at SEMA and at the annual RI Conference. But we are not going away!! We are simply trying to make a wise decision and protect everyone’s health to the degree that we can.
We look forward to seeing everyone at SEMA in November of 2022, and at the RI Conference in Wichita early in 2023!!