Don Teevens (CCS), Brian Busby (BASF), Gloria Mann (Media Matters) and Chris Chinn (CCS) pose for a selfie at the recent BASF Golf Tournament.
By Allison Rogers
This industry is always busy—but these last two months have been particularly jam-packed. Between the end of May and now, nearly the end of July, our team at the magazine has attended more than a dozen events.
Now, this is not a complaint—quite the opposite, actually. Anyone who knows any member of the Collision Repair magazine team knows how social some of us are. We love a good industry event; if not for the networking opportunities, then for the pages of notes and learning lessons we walk away with…and the trade show swag.
As a relatively new face in the industry, I’m almost always meeting new people at these events—whether it be our first time connecting and exchanging info or our dozenth time talking (but first time meeting in person). It only took one event, perhaps even less than that, before I understood that making friends in this industry is far from a daunting task. Anyone who frequents the automotive aftermarket is well aware at how easy it is to connect with our industry peers.
The keynote speakers and industry update sessions are another highlight for the magazine team. I believe I speak for more than myself when I say the pandemic desensitized us to a lot of online learning; I, personally, never thought I’d be so happy to look at a PowerPoint in person, not on a screen. To see people sitting together! In a room! Truly a sight to behold.
Zoom and internet fatigue jokes aside, our minds have also been opened to the potential in virtual learning, online training and further incorporation of technologies in our businesses. The door, once only slightly cracked, is creaking open. Keep the momentum going and stay in tune with the future of our industry.
All of this is to say, first—a big thank you to industry colleagues that have ever hosted us. Collision Repair magazine is here to celebrate you, our industry; that includes everyone, from collision repair owners, operators, managers, technicians, painters and all bodyshop staff, to vendors, suppliers, automakers, insurers, parts manfacturers and anyone with a toe in the automotive aftermarket.
To my second point—please attend industry events. Pick up the phone—call the collision repair pal you haven’t talked to in six months and ask them what’s up. Go to coffee with a rep. Accept a conference invitation. Heck, if you really want to stay holed up in the comfort of your office forever, at least join a webinar. We still host them sometimes.
Get involved. No one can navigate the future on their own.