Swift said, “The event was well-attended, with both familiar and new faces. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to meet and discuss with different vendors and suppliers specific to the automotive recycling industry, as well as network with fellow recyclers all over the U.S.”
The GMARE is intended to connect the professional automotive recycling community with vehicle wreckers, salvage dealers and suppliers. The expo rose to the challenge, attracting attendees from all over Nebraska and its surrounding states. Attendees were invited to tour several local facilities in order to see their colleagues’ automotive recycling yards and hopefully come up with ideas for improving their own businesses. Andersen Self-Service, Andersen Wrecking Company, and CMI/Alter Metal Recycling all invited their peers to visit for exclusive tours.
DJ Harrington, the Car-Dialogist with Phone Logic, was the event’s keynote speaker, and he covered a variety of business skills for attendees to develop, including telephone etiquette, prospecting, sales and customer service. Next, Reikes Equipment’s John Parker educated participants on the importance of workplace safety and fork lift training. GMARE attendees also enjoyed a trade show with industry vendor exhibits, a dinner banquet and an auction.
Michael E. Wilson, ARA's CEO, believes that education and networking opportunities are the most beneficial aspects of industry-sponsored events like GMARE. “The automotive parts market and collision repair industry has more players than ever before, and ARA and affiliated state chapter members need to stay informed on the latest developments and trends. ARA’s Annual Convention and state association events serve as a means of providing this type of information. The discussions and feedback that take place at these events also aid ARA in determining the direction of current and future activities, which is why ARA makes it a priority to have a member of the association’s leadership team attend state association meetings whenever possible. This provides an opportunity to meet with current association members, as well as prospective members, to present ARA’s member benefits and help promote the association’s value by highlighting the specific products and services ARA provides its membership base. Talking to our members also allows us to gain a better understanding of their needs so that we can focus on the collaborative power a united association membership base can provide by coming together.”
He added, “Networking is also a key ingredient in the success of association events as it allows automotive recyclers to benchmark themselves and their peers in the industry in order to determine how others may have overcome certain difficulties. Because many members know each other since their businesses have been passed along to multiple generations, it’s like a family reunion.”