By the time you read this, we’ll be smack-dab in the middle of Industry Week in Las Vegas. The NACE, SEMA and AAPEX shows are certainly the spectacles of our industry, and Vegas provides an excellent destination for grand-scale gatherings such as these. The great thing is that there’s something for everyone at these events, both professionally and personally.
Attending any one or all of these events requires a significant investment, and in these times, it’s important make sure our businesses realize a maximum return on their investments. I’ve certainly attended many of these events over my 30 years in the automotive business, and I’ve learned many ways a business can indeed squeeze all it needs to out of these events to make them worthwhile.
Just like any investment we make in our business, it’s important to have a plan. Be sure to think about what you want to accomplish during your time at the show well ahead of your departure.
The reasons for attending such gatherings can be varied. Acquisition of new equipment is one of the obvious opportunities that exists at industry conferences. If this is your goal, be sure to have a good idea of the types of equipment you’re going to look at. Stay focused on the floor and be sure to see all the providers of that type of equipment. With all the different suppliers and new products, it’s very easy to get distracted on the floor. Before arriving at the show, map out who you’re going to go see and allot enough time to see each of the providers in that segment. Let your local rep know that you’re going and he or she will be sure that you’re well-informed by corporate personnel on the floor. Remember, they’re there to sell and will be very interested in spending time with you if you’re a legitimate buyer.
Training and new techniques are other opportunities to capitalize on at the shows. All of the industry organizers have excellent seminar offerings that provide every imaginable automotive subject. If you have an interest in any trend or procedure, there’s someone there talking about it. Take advantage of this time to intellectually tune up your business.
Nowhere else will you find more innovative opportunities to branch out your business than at Industry Week. If you’re thinking about new profit centers and ways to expand, there will be real live people there to talk to who have done it successfully and can explain how you can, too. Here’s your chance to look at, talk about and gather information on any ideas you might have had over the last year to expand your potential revenue base.
Last and certainly not least, take time to network. Networking takes on many forms but is an essential part of keeping your business current and alive. You need to know what others are doing and need to tell others what’s working, all of which does wonders for instilling the positive attitude we all need in today’s business environment. Stay connected to those relationships you’ve built over the years. Shop owners, manufacturers and trainers alike all need to stay in touch.
Traveling to Industry Week is an investment. Just like in your everyday business, map out your plan ahead of time and then execute it. If you do that, you’ll definitely reap the benefits.
Please stop by our NACE Booth N2756 so we can chat. See you there!