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Change Is Good!

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Well, all the controversy is over. NACE is moving to Orlando, Fla., in 2011. There certainly has been plenty of talk about it, and now we can all get to the business of planning for this upcoming event.

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I applaud Ron Pyle and others at ASA for making the decision – and I also commend them for the way they went about making that decision. They surveyed the industry and then made their decision based on what the industry was telling them. That’s a very customer-focused approach and one of which I’m an enthusiastic proponent. Now, as an industry, let’s get behind the show and support it.

Collision-specific shows provide all of us with an opportunity to get together and receive and give information on vital topics that matter to our industry. These events provide an excellent value proposition for shop owners because they allow them to get information on many industry-specific subjects all in one place. Shows in general are a great place to network, trade ideas and pick up tips on how to run your business better. There’s no better time than 2011 to get to one of these shows and reap the benefits they have to offer.

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This year, there are many such shows to choose from. NACE is certainly going to be a big one this year. If past years are an indicator, the content will be excellent and the show floor will be full of industry products. The other nice thing about this year’s show is that it’s on the East Coast. It hasn’t been over here in a long time, and it will give many repairers who may have grown weary of the trek to Las Vegas the opportunity to travel only a short distance.

For those of you on the West Coast, the SEMA Show and its Collision Repair and Refinish section is an excellent alternative if you want to keep your travel to a minimum. The show has been growing every year, and this year should be no different. And of course it brings along with it the
myriad of other automotive-related attractions that make up the entire SEMA experience.

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I’m sure that many of you sitting in the heartland of our grand country are saying, “Why do we have to travel to the ends of the country to get to a collision conference?” The answer this year is you don’t! On Thursday, May 5, BodyShop Business will be hosting our 2011 conference in Chicago. It will have a strong focus on waterborne/low-VOC coatings as well as general business improvement strategies and I-CAR training. Classes will be led by industry leaders and will focus on a variety of current-day issues.

Something new for this year’s BodyShop Business Conference is that the trade show floor will be open to all body shops free of charge. That means that area shops will be able to come talk to major equipment and paint suppliers and gain firsthand knowledge from the companies that are creating the latest cutting-edge technology. See our ad on pg. 34-35 for more information, and look for more details in coming issues of BodyShop Business.

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This year is the year to move forward and position your shop for success. Shows are a great way to get ideas and see new equipment. Start making your plans now to attend one of these great get-togethers.

One thing is for sure: We’ll be at all of them, so see you there!

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