Hide your family members, the collision repairers are coming! No, this cry won’t be heard in Las Vegas this year when the 25th annual International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) comes to town October 31 through November 3. After all, you guys will be too busy making important business contacts and seeking out new, innovative tools to allow you to work faster, cheaper and better, right? Of course you will! You’ll walk right by those slot machines and poker tables and keep your mortgages and your kids’ college education funds safely intact. At least, we hope.
But hey, it is Vegas, and leaving without playing some game of chance would be like going to Orlando and not giving Mickey Mouse a big ol’ bear hug. So after you take a turn at the roulette wheel or wrestle with a one-armed bandit, turn the odds in your favor on the show floor at NACE. This year’s show will offer 57 conference sessions focused on collision repair with 70 percent of them new to the lineup, including Finishing in the Money with Waterborne Paints, Feather, Prime & Block and Estimating Today’s New Technologies. Sessions will be held Wednesday, October 31 through Friday, November 2. Out of the 57 sessions, 65 percent are accredited by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI). You can search online at www.naceexpo.com for a complete listing of sessions, descriptions
In addition, I-CAR will present six training sessions on Wednesday, October 31 and three on Saturday, November 3. New classes include Steel Unitized Structures Technologies and Repair (SPS07) and Steel Full Frame Technologies and Repair (SPS08).
NACE is also offering some of the same popular attractions as last year, including the I-CAR Technology Showcase which will offer attendees the chance to get free education right on the NACE show floor. Last year, the Auto Glass Expo merged with NACE, and it will be back once again, offering attendees the chance to check out the latest trends in auto glass replace-ment/repair products and technologies. Don’t miss the Auto Glass Technician Olympics and Windshield Repair Olympics, and a free auto glass session on How to Educate Auto Glass Technicians. Also, live exhibitor demos will allow attendees to test out products in a real, on-site work environment. Free early-bird roundtable sessions (six in total) are back, too, covering topics such as: Parts Procurement, Electronic Transfer of Data/Rekeying and Lean – Understanding the Process, Women in the Industry, Industry Trends – Today & Beyond and Third Party Audits.
Some other key events at this year’s NACE include Thursday’s Opening General Session featuring The Pursuit of Happyness author and movie inspiration Chris Gardner; and Friday morning’s Panel Talk on “De-Mystifying ‘Lean’ – Creating Process Centered Environments,” sponsored by Akzo Nobel.
Also, don’t miss Wednesday evening’s Welcome Reception, which will be held at the South Pacific Ballroom in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center.
If you still have enough oomph in your system after exploring the show floor, attending the activities and networking with fellow repairers, feel free to indulge in the gratuitously pleasurable activities
that Las Vegas has to offer. After all, you work hard every day, and Vegas is the perfect place to