Attendance has been down for the past three years, with a slight uptick for the 2011 show in Orlando, FL. This year’s event saw another attendance dip, which ASA Executive Director Dan Risley says was expected.
There were significant successes at the 2013 show such as a popular keynote by industry veteran Mike Anderson and the MSO Symposium which has been growing in attendance.
Mike Anderson kicked off the 2013 NACE Expo with a keynote speech entitled “The Future Is Not Set in Stone” at the Opening General Session/Collision Industry Forum.
Anderson’s familiar audience engagement techniques were on display as he employed humor, moving personal annecdotes, and even his Tourette’s syndrome ticks, as models and metaphors for perseverance, unity and action in the industry.
“We get caught up in how much things cost, in Parts Trader, in cycle time, and we forget that what matters is how we fix the car,” Anderson said. “When the industry gets a black eye, it affects every single person [in it].”
“With insurers, they try to come in our industry and do things to us and not with us,” he said, citing his experience living briefly in Hawaii where he was counseled about developing a more collobarative style while teaching.
At the conclusion of his talk Anderson was honored with the 2013 Joe Jackson Industry Champion Award, presented by Axalta Coating Systems, which recognizes collision repairers exhibiting outstanding leadership, charity or humanitarian works.
The largest Multi-Shop Operator (MSO) Symposium to date was held on Oct. 16 and provided a strong draw to the shops in attendance. It attracted a sold-out crowd of 275 MSOs.
“We had the combined benefit of collision repairers and capital market leaders, as well as expert speakers on leadership and decision-making contribute to our interactive event that focused on the current and future state of the U.S. collision repair industry,” said Vincent Romans, The Romans Group, producer of the MSO Symposium.
The MSO Symposium was full from start to finish. Several attendees commented it was the main reason they came to Las Vegas for the convention and a few described the event as a kind of speed dating process in which some smaller MSOs vied for attention from the four big players in attendance.
“All the major players were represented at this year’s MSO Symposium and the room was a veritable ‘who’s who’ list,” says Ron Nagy, AAM, of Nagy’s Collision Specialists. “This event continues to deliver.”
“The representation from both large and small MSOs at the symposium provided a good view of the changing landscape occurring within the industry on an almost daily basis,” says Frank LaViola, Assistant Vice President at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. “These changes will undoubtedly affect all the constituents within the industry and helps us all be better prepared to tackle these changes.”
“The attendance at the MSO was strong and key MSOs were well-represented,” says Shelton Byrd, Sales Executive Western Region, Mitchell International. “The overlying message of the panel discussion was the importance of recruiting talented people and fostering their growth.”
Stone Fort Takes Over the Show
Major changes will occur in the show management with Stone Fort Group taking over the NACE-CARS show from current show operator Hanley Wood Exhibitions, who has managed the show for the past 13 years. Stone Fort Group offers an experienced team to provide conference management, sales and marketing for NACE and CARS 2014, and will work closely with the association in a similar capacity to Hanley Wood, who will now concentrate on the trade shows that they own.
Stone Fort Group co-founders Sean Guerre and Brian Nessen have 20 years of trade show and conference experience, and reportedly have broader international marketing reach than Hanley Wood.
NABC Presented Three Vehicles
The “First Responder Emergency Extrication” presentation was delivered by the Clark County Fire Department from Henderson, NV, who conducted live emergency extrication techniques on late model vehicles. The NABC’s Recycled Rides presentations featured three vehicles donated to local community organizations targeting those in need. The first was a specially equipped, handicap-accessible van that has been repaired by Gerber Collision and donated by State Farm Insurance. The van was donated to the Foundation for Positively Kids and will be used to transport medically-challenged children so that they can receive the medical care they need.
NABC also hosted the presentation of two vehicles donated by Allstate Insurance and repaired independently by Caliber Collision and the Van Tuyl Group. The vehicles were donated to the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youths.
I-CAR offered three technical presentations of its “Repairability Technical Support” initiative, designed to help bridge the information gap between the repair industry and vehicle manufacturers. I-CAR hopes to improve industry access to technical repair knowledge, address gaps in repair procedures, and enhance industry technical communication with OEMs. “Vehicle Maker Repair Information and I-CAR Technical Support,” stressed the importance of OEM repair procedures, how to access information online and various resources available when accessing them. “Today’s Advanced Vehicle Construction Materials & Safety Systems,” focused on the advanced materials used by car makers and how those materials affect the repair process now and in the future. “Advanced Joining Methods–Understanding OEM Procedures and Repair Processes” covered important repair information on advanced joining technologies, which ones to use in different situations, and how to replace parts following OEM recommendations. All presentations were led by Jason Bartanen, I-CAR director of industry technical relations, and Jamie Boettcher, instructional designer and trainer.
NACE and CARS 2014 will take place July 29-Aug. 2 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, MI, and will be co-located with I-CAR and CIC.
To learn more about NACE, visit www.ASAshop.org or call (800) 272-7467, ext. 361.