The 2018 NORTHEAST Automotive Service Show had what organizers believe was the biggest turnout in the 41-year history of the event, according to the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ).
Held March 16-18 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, N.J., NORTHEAST 2018 boasted a 20-percent increase in attendance from last year, a new additional floor for exhibitors and the debut of the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association’s (WMABA) Collision P.R.E.P. track.
“The amount of traffic that came through the Meadowlands Exposition Center was unprecedented, and the quality of the various seminars and presentations held throughout the weekend far exceeded our greatest expectations,” AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee said. “NORTHEAST gave thousands of people from our industry a chance to get a firsthand look at the latest tools and equipment that will aid them in becoming more efficient, profitable and professional in the future. I had the pleasure of speaking with attendees who flew in from all over the country to be take part in everything we had to offer, and every vendor I visited told me how excited and impressed they were – with many of them adding that they want to expand their display space next year.”
Collision P.R.E.P. provided three days of national-level education that aimed to arm attendees with the data and tools necessary to successfully navigate an ever-changing industry.
“The NORTHEAST Show has the closest proximity and best industry relationships for us to build the Collision P.R.E.P. education series for our membership region and beyond,” WMABA Executive Director Jordan Hendler said. “While it was a bit of a commute from our region, numerous shops came in from as far as Oregon to participate in the seminars.”
Collision P.R.E.P. highlights included presentations by Mike Anderson and Todd Tracy (who also brought along the cars used in his recent crash tests in California), and panel discussions on OEM certification and diagnostics, calibrations and programming.
“WMABA is very happy with the turnout by the industry, and it was apparent that this education is both needed and wanted,” Hendler said. “The entire program was well-attended, and a few standouts were even standing-room-only. The attendees highly praised the information – and inspirations – they received. Everything from estimating tips to management of documentation to negotiations were addressed, with special attention given to life skills and aligning your business with liability in mind.”
Other NORTHEAST 2018 special events included General Motors’ announcement of its new Collision Repair Network and a special presentation of the James Moy Memorial Award to Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg for his outstanding service and commitment to the success of the industry.