ASRW 2008 Events - NACE and CARS - Deliver Strong Results
The 26th annual International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the Congress of Automotive Repair & Service (CARS) delivered a solid event for those in attendance - professionals from both the collision and mechanical segments of the industry. These industry events were co-located at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas Nov. 5-8.
Together, NACE and CARS attracted 23,327 collision and mechanical industry professionals, representing the cornerstone of the recently created Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW), sponsored by ASA.
"The first ASRW certainly met my expectations and more, but what excites me most is the potential we have created with this event," said Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive. "There is no question that it can grow in numbers and in stature to be the pre-eminent service and repair event in the world. The key to achieving this goal is to continue to carefully listen to the attendees and exhibitors, and make the necessary adjustments to provide the value they are seeking. ASRW has established the concept of a 'shop show' for automotive shops of all disciplines and we welcome the opportunity to expand the horizon."
NACE exhibits finished at 127,800 total net square feet and the CARS portion of the floor finished at 6,600 total net square feet - plus an additional 26,900 square feet of demo, theater and attraction space. There were 362 NACE exhibiting companies (64 of which were new) and 47 CARS exhibiting companies. Exhibitors sponsored an array of "Expo Extras" that provided free on-floor education to all registered attendees. These included live demos, presentations and the all-new CARS Exhibitor Theaters, which featured full-day education each of the three show days.
Jonathan Barrick, marketing manager for Global Finishing Solutions (GFS), said: "NACE 2008 was a strong show for GFS. The international presence at NACE was excellent. We spoke with customers from all over the United States as well as Canada, Mexico, South America and Australia, to name a few. We will definitely be back in 2009!"
Dusty Dunkle, president of Customer Research Inc., said: "We were very pleased to have yet another successful NACE in 2008. Even in tough economic times, NACE was thriving. Furthermore, there was a higher ratio of key decision makers attending the Expo, which resulted in better communication with our primary target audience."
Jerry Raskind, manager of Wholesale Programs for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., said: "Toyota's participation in CARS 2008 was a great success! By combining CARS with NACE under the Automotive Service Repair Week banner, we enjoyed an increased number of quality contacts with repair shop owners and technicians. ... We are looking forward to next year's event!"
NACE featured 56 education sessions; CARS featured 37. Additionally, there were nine I-CAR Technical Training courses, one PCI course, four ASE Test Prep Classes (mechanical and collision focused), the new Train the Trainer session, as well as eight on-floor I-CAR Technology Showcase clinics and the numerous exhibitor-sponsored on-floor educational opportunities each day within the Exposition.
"The results gained from our inaugural ASRW events were significant, providing excellent momentum moving forward with plans currently under way for 2009," said Galen Poss, president of Hanley Wood Exhibitions. "By combining a comprehensive educational program, a compelling general session lineup and the addition of many new features on the show floor, this year's NACE and CARS delivered outstanding events for collision repair and automotive service professionals. From these solid results, many exhibitors are already requesting exhibit space and sponsorships for the coming year."
Based on a quick pre-show survey to registered NACE 2008 attendees, the co-location of CARS with NACE was welcomed by attendees. When asked, "Do you value the co-location of CARS?" 63 percent said "yes." Attendees also were asked: "Do you perform mechanical repairs in your collision facility?" Fifty-eight percent said "yes." With more collision repair facilities keeping mechanical service and repairs in-house, they are clearly seeking information on increasing their skills through educational offerings, as well as seeking time with exhibitors.
ASRW 2009, featuring NACE and CARS as co-located events, will take place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Nov. 4-7, 2009, in Las Vegas.
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