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Class Is In Session

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chool and conducting our business lives. Fall is the time when we should be checking to make sure we’ve been achieving all of our goals for the year. It’s the time when we should be making any final corrections and keep working our plans for the year. It should also be a time when we start thinking about next year and get any training out of the way before next year gets underway. I’m not really sure why it works out this way, but it seems like fall is the season to improve our skills and get that needed training that we all need to stay on top of trends and new technologies.

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The next few months offer those of us in the collision repair space a wide variety of training opportunities and a deep subject list. To start with, I think all of the paint companies are holding training sessions for their certified shop participants. The schedule I have puts one of these close to pretty much any location in the U.S. These sessions are excellent ways for you to get the latest information from your paint suppliers, as well as other valuable business information. I’ve had the honor of participating in many of these programs, and I can tell you firsthand that they’re a great value.

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Another training opportunity is the 2010 BodyShop Business Conference – Succeeding Through Change to be held Sept. 17-18 in downtown Indianapolis. It includes over a dozen high-profile topics from many industry experts, as well as two pertinent I-CAR classes. If you missed our highly successful Waterborne Conference last year, you won’t want to miss our conference this year. Indy is a great venue, and our subject matter is very diverse.

Along comes October, and it brings NACE with it. The educational lineup this year is extensive and, as always, will provide excellent training value for you as a shop. This is the one place where the entire collision repair industry can get together, review trends and get a glimpse of what’s ahead. This show is strictly focused on our industry and is an excellent venue for learning and product comparisons. Plus, Las Vegas is a great destination!

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If your shop is focused on more than just collision work, or if you want to see what the latest is in the overall automotive sector, then November and SEMA is the place for you. This year, SEMA has expanded its Paint, Body & Equipment section with more exhibitors and loads of educational opportunities specifically for collision repairers. If you’re into restoration or custom work, you can’t beat this show for seeing new products.

Whatever your training needs might be, they’re available at some time and some place over the next three months. Each of the venues I’ve listed will have several opportunities for you to fine-tune and enhance your skills and capabilities. The important thing in each of our businesses is to realize that we constantly need to be improving our skills, and that takes some work. Our business is so full of changes and technology that staying current with all of it is that much more important.

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I’ll be at all of the above industry gatherings, and I hope to see you at one!

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