Inaugural Midwest Collision Repair Trade Show a Big Success
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Inaugural Midwest Collision Repair Trade Show a Big Success

The inaugural Midwest Collision Repair Trade Show and Conference held April 1-2 at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kansas, was a big success.

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Mike Anderson, founder of Collision Advice, told a packed room to “grow your team, grow your business and change the way you compete” in 2022.

The auto body associations of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota joined forces to create and host the event. The anticipated number of participants was met and surpassed, booth space was sold out and the available sponsorships were also fully sold.

“The actual attendance was nearly triple what we had set as our goal for an inaugural event,” said Gina Cotton, co- coordinator of the event and executive director of the Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas associations. “We were thrilled with the turnout, and the feedback we received from the exhibitors was very good as well. We sincerely thank all involved, including our event sponsors.”

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Added Event Co-coordinator and Iowa Collision Repair Association Executive Director Janet Chaney, “The education sessions were a big hit, too. Each classroom session was nearly full, and additional chairs had to be brought in for a few of the sessions. The presenters worked hard to create workshops of value, and the participants reported great satisfaction with the material presented.”

Mike Anderson, founder of Collision Advice, was the keynote speaker over lunch on Saturday April 2. In his state of the industry address, Anderson told the 300 people in attendance that his theme for 2022 is “Grow your team, grow your business and change the way you compete.” He pointed out that most shops leave a bunch of money on the table when writing estimates. He shared strategies to address this, sources for procedure documents as well as what the average repair order is by state.

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Anderson also focused on workforce development. He reported that 80,000 technicians will be needed by our industry by 2024, but demand is significantly outpacing a steadily declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. He introduced an automotive collision engineering pilot program that is being powered by a joint venture between the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation and Ranken Technical College. This program is designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles with collision repair and enhance retention and advancement among collision repair technicians. Other pilot sites are the College of Lake County in Illinois, Contra Costa College in California and Texas State Technical College.

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Cotton and Chaney are working to secure a date and location for the Midwest Collision Repair Trade Show and Conference for 2023. For more information, visit midwesttradeshow.org or call Janet Chaney at (480) 720-2565 or Gina Cotton at (402) 304-2140.

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