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FLY, SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES

The lights of Las Vegas are calling

By ALLISON ROGERS

Have you been out and about lately, or did you spend your summer locked in a cycle of constant work?

Hopefully, by now, you’ve been able to get out and sightsee a little bit—now that widespread pandemic restrictions are (mostly) a thing of the past. Personally, I spent the summer travelling to collision centres, conferences and meetings—and I wholeheartedly enjoyed every second of it. I joined the Collision Repair magazine team in 2019—about six months before the pandemic fully gripped Canada. I covered SEMA 2019 for the publication, though I was not fortunate enough to attend. By the time COVID-19 cancelled all the events for 2020 and 2021 combined, the only large-scale industry gathering I had really attended was CCIF’s 2020 event in Toronto.

Of course, I spent my pandemic times speaking to industry folk over the phone and out on masked-and-thoroughly-sanitized shop visits. If we’ve been introduced along my recent travels, you’ve likely heard me make my go-to joke: Have we actually met, or have we just talked on Zoom a bunch? The writers at Collision Repair have been known to call me endlessly positive. Perhaps that’s a bit of a stretch—I’ll admit to be a frequent tooter of my own horn—but certain individuals have commended me on my upbeat positivity. On the contrary, these same people have also been known to poke fun at such optimism; particularly when I get all “fangirly” over meeting certain industry reps I’ve looked up to over the years. There are a few instances where I’ve left magazine features or cover stars blushing once we’ve met in person; I like to give compliments. One time, I actually told a cover star that I viewed them as a celebrity. I’m fairly certain that embarrassed them ten times over, but I’m still not sorry. Some of you don’t realize how cool you really are.

Rambling points aside—Collision Repair is once again headed to SEMA this November. It will be my first time actually attending North America’s largest aftermarket show in the flesh—much to my father’s jealousy, may I add. The rest of the magazine team will be in Vegas, too—and we’re looking to fill up our dockets. Have something exciting planned? We know how to keep a secret. Send us a message with your SEMA plans and we’ll work something out.

And, if you see my smiling face on the SEMA Show floor, come say hi! But fair warning, I may beat you to it. If you’re reading this and plan to be in Vegas, we’ll meet up. I’ll make sure of it.

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