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by Colby Horton
ASA's Manager of Web Operations

At the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) closing press conference Saturday, Nov. 5, show officials released preliminary attendance figures, shared feedback obtained from exhibitors and attendees, and set the stage for next year's event.

Galen Poss, president of Hanley-Wood, the company that manages NACE, said this year's event was a "solid event across the board," starting with a dynamic general session that included an address by Geralynn Kottschade, NACE chariman, and a keynote address by former New York city mayor Rudy Giuliani. Over 3,000 people attended this year's general session.

This year saw the largest educational opportunities in NACE's 23-year history. Seventy-five conference sessions were offered. Paint company participation in the sessions was apparent, with 30 sessions offered by them.

Show stats included participation by 479 companies occupying 178,600 net square feet, down slightly from last year's show. The decrease was due to several refinish and paint companies that decided to not exhibit at this year's event.

While final figures will not be known until the close of the show today, Poss estimated attendance at around 27,000, with approximately 2,000 coming from the SEMA and AAPEX shows.

NACE will take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino for at least another three years. The Automotive Service Association (ASA), the sole sponsor of NACE, signed a 5-year contract with the Mandalay Bay.

Poss spoke of the possibility of opening the exposition floor at 9 a.m. for Saturday's schedule, but a final decision has not been made. NACE 2006 will take place Nov. 1-4.

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