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NACE 2007: Attendance Strong at Both Expo and Training Sessions

ASA announces co-location of NACE, CARS events.

Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007
By Angie Kilbourne, AutoInc. Correspondent

At the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) closing press conference Saturday, Nov. 3, Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive, announced the creation of Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW), which will make its debut in November 2008. Under the umbrella of ASRW, the NACE and Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) events will be co-located for the first time in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay Convention Center.

The events will retain their separate identities, Pyle told the audience, but will share trade show floor space and combine key events such as general sessions. The overall goal of ASRW is to bring together buyers and sellers of automotive products and services in one venue that includes both education and trade show activities. ASRW will grow to include activities for other organizations and industry segments, thereby creating a home for all that work in or cater to the automotive service and repair industry. The inaugural event will take place Nov. 5-8, 2008.

“We want to establish that this week is dedicated to automotive service and repair entities of all types,” Pyle commented. “This [event] is an exciting opportunity for ASA. We believe [this move] continues to show our commitment to the service industry.”

Pyle explained that combining these two events provides attendees with expanded opportunities for education, training and networking. Hanley Wood, which currently manages the NACE show, will also manage ASRW and CARS.

“We should have done this sooner,” said Galen Poss, president of Hanley-Wood. "Both CARS and NACE will retain their identities at ASRW and will remain specifically focused on the conference and exhibition needs specific to each group. In addition, the joint event should produce excellent dividends where industry crossover and a combined message are warranted and required."

NACE: Attendance strong
Poss told the audience that this year’s NACE has been an “excellent event,” and the numbers are likely going to be a carbon copy of last year’s once the final tally is made. Although the numbers on whole Congress Packages was slightly down, Poss said the number of individual session ticket sales was up for this year. He attributed this to more attendees planning ahead and selecting specific events and training sessions before arriving.

The general session on Thursday with keynote Chris Gardner was a sold-out event, and Poss commented that the feedback from attendees and exhibitors indicates Gardner’s talk was even more popular than recent years’ keynotes Troy Aikman and Rudy Guiliani. Poss also said that Akzo Nobel’s innovative “play” approach for its Friday panel on lean processing is one of the top requests for CDs for purchase.

While final figures will not be known until the close of the show today, Poss estimated attendance between 25,000 and 27,000, with more than 1,100 coming from the SEMA and AAPEX shows. Exhibitors totaled 434 this year, and the feedback from them has been very good. “If you listen to your customers, they’ll take you where you want to go,” added Poss.

Poss said that regardless of numbers or stats, this year’s NACE has been the best ever in his opinion. "NACE has always been a reflection of the industry that is there,” said Poss. “This is the 25th anniversary, and there aren’t any others [past events] that I’m more proud of than this one.”

NACE, sponsored by ASA, will take place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino next year from Nov. 5-8, 2008.

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