Las Vegas showcases cars in the ‘SEMA Convention’

Somiah Alkobadi, Staff Writer

Photo by Somiah Alkobadi/The Runner

Las Vegas has been known as a party city for some time now. I recently went this past week for a car convention, “SEMA,” and it seemed that COVID-19 took a toll on the Vegas strip. Las Vegas was a place I was some-what familiar with, going almost yearly with my family. This year, I noticed that there were fewer people on the strip than usual. Buffets were shut down due to the pandemic, which showed the impact that COVID-19 had.

According to, “As of Aug. 16, all large indoor events with 4,000 or more attendees are able to show proof of vaccination as an exception to the indoor mask requirement. Individual event organizers are able to choose between requiring masks indoors for all attendees or ensuring that all attendees are vaccinated.” Vegas had no restrictions when it came to doing activities with other people, but wearing masks was mandated everywhere we went.

The SEMA Convention is a car convention on brands selling/advertising their products. This is one of the biggest conventions hosted in Las Vegas, and there were no restrictions on being vaccinated or how many people could enter. The convention went on from Nov. 2 to Nov. 5. They had employees holding up a “please wear a mask” sign, but they were not enforcing it. According to the SEMA Show website, “With 1,300 exhibiting companies and 30,000 buyers registered to attend, the SEMA Show is where the hottest, new-est automotive products debut.” There were thousands of people at the show with no guidelines on how to keep everyone safe.

Photo by Somiah Alkobadi/The Runner

I noticed that there were many people wearing convention lanyards around Vegas. A few Uber drivers stated that Vegas was busy because there were two major conventions happening. For some reason, it did not seem that way. As I went into restaurants to see where the buffets were, employees had told me they were shut down. I know of many people who go to Las Vegas for the buffets at hotels, so seeing that most were shut down due to the pandemic meant Vegas lost a lot of business. There was no need to have the vaccination to get anywhere, but it was scary to see how you could be around so many people without them caring about the virus.