After closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation both locally and nationwide for months, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) has made the difficult decision to cancel their 2020 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J. NORTHEAST 2020, originally scheduled for March 20-22 and then postponed to August 21-23, will resume its normal schedule next year, with show dates of March 19-21, 2021.
However, to honor the experience the industry expects from an in-person trade show, AASP/NJ is announcing an online NORTHEAST event for the weekend of August 21-23. The virtual experience will allow attendees to enter an online NORTHEAST floor plan and access exhibitors’ products, videos and information, and even schedule a private meeting. Educational opportunities will also be available in concert with the NORTHEAST-exclusive Collision Professional Repairer Education Program (P.R.E.P.), presented by the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA). Exhibitors will be contacted by event management ASAP to discuss all options. Watch for more details coming soon from AASP/NJ, and click here to be added to an e-blast list for important announcements about NORTHEAST and Collision P.R.E.P.
“When we first realized the magnitude of COVID-19 and postponed NORTHEAST in March, we hoped we wouldn’t be faced with this decision,” said Jerry McNee, president of AASP/NJ. “With the uncertainty about what restrictions will be lifted by August, we felt the public health and safety of our attendees, staff and volunteers outweighed any other considerations to go on with this year’s event and decided instead to plan for an even greater NORTHEAST in March 2021.”
While statistical data throughout New Jersey continues to trend in a hopeful direction, the viability of holding NORTHEAST this summer remains too uncertain amidst no short-term timeframe of mass gatherings resuming in New Jersey. As of June 1, mass gatherings remain prohibited by the state, with indoor gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people.
“The association struggled with making a final decision but ultimately determined the health and safety of everyone involved in NORTHEAST must remain our top priority, along with providing all with a high-quality trade event that is not only safe but worthwhile for exhibitors and attendees alike,” said Thomas Greco, show manager of NORTHEAST.
Added McNee, “As shop owners ourselves, we know everyone will be looking to get out and see what they missed. We know that come March, there will be a pent-up demand to get back out to the NORTHEAST Show for all the latest in equipment, technology and education. We look forward to seeing everyone March 19-21, 2021.”