Nearly 400 Attendees Flock to BodyShop Business Conference for Training, Technology and Cool Cars - BodyShop Business
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Nearly 400 Attendees Flock to BodyShop Business Conference for Training, Technology and Cool Cars

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The show is over, as they say, but it’s doubtful the nearly 400 people who attended the BodyShop Business Conference & Trade Show May 5 at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., will soon forget the good times, valuable education, cutting edge products, and great networking that were in plentiful supply.

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Wednesday was a picture-perfect day for a golf outing at The Resort Course at Pheasant Run, with lots of sunshine and mild temperatures. On Wednesday evening, collision repairers had the opportunity to attend I-CAR’s Inspecting Repairs for Quality Control (QUA01) course.

On Thursday morning, people swarmed the trade show floor to catch the keynote address by consultant Bill Sefcek, who talked about how to forge new business relationships and maintain them for the long haul. The trade show, which was sponsored by BASF, DuPont, Global Finishing Solutions, PPG, Sherwin-Williams and Transtar, remained open all day, showcasing over 30 exhibitor booths and eight beautiful cars.

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Andy MacDonald, the auto body repair instructor at Waubonsee Community College, displayed two vehicles at the show that his students worked on, a Corvette and a 440 Hemi Dodge Dart.

"[The BodyShop Business Conference] was a great learning opportunity for my students," said MacDonald. "They were able to socialize with so many people in their field, plus equipment suppliers and paint companies. One of my students even won a spray gun."

Other cars that were available for gawking were a ’56 Chevy Nomad (DuPont), an Indy race car (Sherwin-Williams), a 2010 Lexus (BASF), a 2010 Camaro (PPG), a Corvette (Light-Up Customs) and an ’87 IROC Camaro (Transtar).

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A lot of activity was going on off the floor as well, as people packed into the educational sessions that ran throughout the day. "Demystifying 6H," "OSHA Compliance" and Attorney Erica Eversman’s presentation on "Lessons Learned from North State vs. Progressive" were among some of the more popular sessions.

The show closed with an exciting drawing that made four people very lucky. All day long, a mysterious car lay under a cover, keeping people guessing as to what it was. This live "Guess the Car" contest offered clues such as: tweet-tweet; fun-fun-fun; where you cross a river; Mad Max; and two photos, one of a storm cloud and the other of the Thunderbirds flying team. Rich Westwood of Stockton Auto Body in Stockton, Ill., guessed the "Ford Thunderbird" and received a nice payday of $50.

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Another drawing was held for one $1,000 gift certificate and two $500 certificates toward the purchase of equipment from one of the vendors at the show. The winners were:

• $1,000: Gabriel Escobedo, Hired Gun Paint Work, St. Charles, Ill.

• $500: Bob Zakhar, Zak’s Hi-Tech Collision Center, Blue Island, Ill.

• $500: Rachel Quigg, Chapman’s Body Shop, Celina, Ohio

"We were very pleased with the turnout and were glad to spend some quality time with our readers and advertisers," said BodyShop Business Publisher Scott Shriber. "I think everyone had a great time and gleaned the kind of information that will help them improve their businesses when they get home. Thanks goes out to all our sponsors because without them, this conference wouldn’t have been possible."

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