As a former drag racer, I have experienced many times what it’s like to spend a great deal of time preparing for an event. The team and I would spend months preparing for the season, days or weeks preparing for each event, and hours preparing for every run. The average spectator probably had no idea the extent of the effort.
Engine and drivetrain combinations were researched, parts purchased, and the car was assembled. Hours were spent on the phone getting input and advice, followed by ordering and purchasing parts and equipment. Spare engines and other parts were secured. Even small details like fasteners take time to research, order, organize and store.
Trailers were loaded with thought given to countless potential needs at the event and on the road. Cleaning and polishing were constant activities. Then the day came when we pulled into the racetrack, unloaded the car and started our performance. It was the time when the anticipation came to a loud and fast crescendo, when all preparation was put to the test as competitors brought cars and teams to the starting line to put on the show for the spectators. In fact, a good friend – Tom Hoover, who competed in the nitro funny car category for many years – aptly called his racing business, “Showtime Racing,” to describe the experience.
Similarly, it is time for our industry’s show, NACE|CARS. It was more than a year ago when our president and executive director, Dan Risley, said, “What do you think of having our show in Detroit, where so much of our industry originated from?”
That led to more brainstorming, including ideas like partnering with the I-CAR annual convention and CIC. We met with automakers that responded with excitement and anticipation to participate as never before with training and tours. A new show management company, Stone Fort Group, was hired and preparation went into high gear. A magnificent convention center, the COBO Center, was secured. More vendors responded with confidence in the success of the venue by committing to exhibit in a large way.
Relevant training topics were identified, and classes and speakers arranged.
Lodging, transportation and hospitality arrangements were made. Incredible networking events were planned. And now it is time for all of us to meet in Detroit and experience it. Our board, staff and show management team have put immense effort into seeing that this show is far superior to those in recent memory, and we are so confident that we are frankly giddy with anticipation.
There will be so many great activities and opportunities to experience that it will be impossible for any person to cover them all. For any who are concerned, I say that it is wonderful to have too many things you want to experience. Think about bringing people with you to be sure you cover it all.
Please join me in savoring this new show experience. It’s showtime!