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NACE: Double Down!

Countless classes and impressive exhibits will make your trip to NACE in Las Vegas anything but a gamble.

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Hannah Schiffman joined the BodyShop Business team in June 2008. Previously, she was a reporter at a mid-sized daily newspaper for two years. She graduated from the University of Toledo in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in English with a writing emphasis. She is a member of the Women's Industry Network.

an empty, your wallet.

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In true Vegas fashion, NACE is cutting you a deal. For the second year, the event is part of Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW), hosted by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and co-located with the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS). Throughout ASRW, attendees can take advantage of both collision and mechanical exhibits and educational sessions.

If you’re at NACE to learn, you’re in luck (always a good thing in Vegas): over 85 educational sessions led by seasoned professionals are being offered, covering everything from estimating and shop management to the latest in lean shop operations and repair techniques. Classes begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 4 and run through Saturday, Nov. 7.

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NACE formally kicks off with a welcome reception that’s free for Super Pass attendees from 5:45 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday. That leaves plenty of time for an evening out on the town.

Better yet, get to bed early so you don’t miss Thursday’s 8:30 a.m. Opening General Session. The keynote speaker is Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the heroic pilot who saved 155 people by landing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the frigid Hudson River in January after a bird strike caused the plane’s two engines to lose thrust. Sullenberger’s talk will focus on how critical it is to do your job right – something he knows a thing or two about.
Of course, what many Las Vegas visitors are looking for is the freebie experience – the exhilarating rush of getting something for nothing (or getting a watered-down rum and Coke in exchange for $20 lost at a slot machine). Stick to the show floor, and the free activities and information are bound to give you a better buzz than pushing that “Bet 3 Credits” button, all without the harrowing hangover and wallet shock.

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The biggest giveaway on the show floor comes from Chassis Liner and Accudraft, which have teamed up to create a $92,000 Stimulus Package Giveaway. The grand prize winner will receive the Chassis Liner Lift ’N Rak Pro (valued at $7,000) and an Accudraft TITAN (valued at $85,000). Stop by Booth N3591 and scan your ExpoCard to enter. The winner will be announced Saturday at noon. Even if you don’t win the drawing, at least you can say you didn’t lose anything on this gamble.

On top of its $85 course offerings, I-CAR is also hosting free, one-hour clinics on the show floor at the I-CAR Technology Showcase on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The clinics are held at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday. Topics covered include sectioning, new vehicle technologies, deciding whether to repair or replace parts and advanced material considerations for recycled parts. Can you put a price on valuable information like that?

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The NACE Exhibitor Theater will also feature a free crash course on lean (courtesy of Car-O-Liner) on Friday afternoon at 1, 2:30 and 4 p.m. The 45-minute session will teach the Car-O-Liner Comprehensive Repair Planning (C-CRP) system, which aims to eliminate unnecessary delays to the repair process resulting from discovering damage after the job has been committed to the production process.

As if all this wasn’t enough to keep you busy, there are still exhibits to check out from more than 350 companies catering to your shop’s needs.  
So, NACE attendees, keep on the straight and narrow path to the classroom and show floor at Mandalay Bay, and we promise you’ll leave Las Vegas with your wallet intact and your mind bursting with new ideas to revitalize your shop.

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Hannah Schiffman is managing editor of BodyShop Business. She can be reached at (330) 670-1234 ext. 261.

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