What Happens in Vegas..International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Nov. 2-5. - BodyShop Business

What Happens in Vegas..International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Nov. 2-5.

What's happening is NACE. Where else can you explore 2,000 trade show booths, hang out with peers and gamble away your life savings? Not to mention, marry a complete stranger with Elvis as a witness?

“What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

You’ve probably heard that phrase countless times, but do you know what it’s actually referring to? Any guesses? (And keep it clean people – this is a family show.)
And the answer is …

Your money.

That’s right. What happens in Vegas is you gamble and what stays in Vegas is your money. Which is why it’s a good idea for your finances to spend as much time as possible at the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) at Mandalay Bay Convention Center Nov. 2-5.

Yes, there’s a good chance you’ll buy something on the NACE show floor – like some cool gadget or even a piece of equipment – but this is an investment, something you can use in your shop (as opposed to getting liquored up and playing the slot machines; next thing you know, you’re stumbling around the casino looking for an ATM).

Sound familiar?

There’s plenty to keep you busy (and out of trouble) at NACE. This year’s show will offer 75 conference sessions with tracks in estimating, general, lifestyle, management, sales and marketing, and vehicle repair. Sessions will be held Wednesday, Nov. 2 – Saturday, Nov. 5. Out of the 75 sessions, 61 percent are accredited by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI). You can search online at www.NACEexpo.com for a complete listing of sessions, descriptions and speakers.

In addition, I-CAR will present six training sessions on Wednesday, Nov. 2, most of which are new and/or new-model specific, and ASE will offer certification testing for collision technicians and estimators on Friday, Nov. 4 (register for ASE testing at www.ase.com). Targeted sessions for jobber professionals will include topics to expand their distribution, marketing and cost-efficiency (offered Wednesday-Friday).

But NACE isn’t all work and no play. Wednesday evening’s Welcome Reception will be held at the notoriously cool and trendy House of Blues Music Hall (and yes, you can attend even if you aren’t cool or trendy; just don’t tell anyone).

Some other key events include Wednesday’s IBIS@NACE – an all-day globally focused program and luncheon (IBIS@NACE packages are $350; Thursday’s Opening General Session featuring former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; and Friday’s ASA’s Celebration of Excellence dinner. And don’t forget your spouse. There’s the special spouse session on Thursday – Empowering Women with Power Tools featuring celebrity contractor, Eric Stromer. (I know a few men who, quite frankly, also could benefit from taking this class.)

If, after attending the activities, walking the show floor and networking with fellow repairers, you still hear the casino calling your name, then, by all means, go. Just take it easy on the free drinks. Smarter people than you have woken up with a screaming hangover and the vague recollection of marrying someone named April (or was it May?) – who’s already long gone with your dignity … and your wallet.

Writer Georgina K. Carson is editor of BodyShop Business and firmly believes people shouldn’t wed while intoxicated.

To register for NACE (which includes admittance to SEMA and AAPEX) and to book housing online, go to www.NACEexpo.com.

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