The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers/New Jersey (AASP/NJ) is making final tweaks to their upcoming virtual NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show Aug. 21-23. The virtual show became a reality when the association was forced to postpone, then ultimately cancel, the in-person version of NORTHEAST 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are still disappointed that we were forced to cancel the actual NORTHEAST show,” said Jerry McNee, president of AASP/NJ. “But we are very excited to be able to bring some semblance of the experience to our exhibitors and attendees through the virtual show starting next weekend.”
The virtual NORTHEAST 2020, a free event, will enable attendees to visit exhibitors’ virtual “booth” pages online, view product information and videos, and even schedule virtual meetings with vendors. This will occur on a dedicated link that will be available beginning at 5 p.m. EST on Aug. 21 via the NORTHEAST website. Show hours will proceed as originally scheduled: Friday, Aug. 21, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 22, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug.23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tuition-based Collision P.R.E.P. educational sessions (presented by the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association) will also be available in conjunction with the virtual NORTHEAST 2020, available for registration Aug. 21-23. The virtual trade show itself is free for attendees.
AASP/NJ is looking at the virtual show as a courtesy and an optimistic return to some normalcy during these chaotic times.
“As excited as we are, we know nothing can take the place of an actual in-person NORTHEAST trade show, and we aren’t expecting nor trying to duplicate the unique experience that our vendors and attendees have come to know over the last five decades,” said McNee. “But we live in a different world right now, and as hopeful and optimistic as we are for the future, right now we are doing everything we can to help those who have supported us all these years. The virtual show is our way of showing our appreciation, of showing that we aren’t just going to let 2020 go by without a NORTHEAST presence. Hopefully, everyone will get something out of it and build on that for NORTHEAST 2021.”