Overland Park, Kansas — The first-ever Midwest Collision Repair Trade Show and Conference was a success, according to show organizers.
Held April 1 and 2 in Kansas, the anticipated number of participants was met and then some, according to the autobody associations of Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota, all of which joined forces to host the event. T
“The actual attendance was nearly triple what we had set as our goal for an inaugural event,” said Gina Cotton coordinator of the event and Executive Director of the Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas associations. “We were thrilled with the turnout, and the feedback we received from the exhibitors was very good as well. We sincerely thank all involved, including our event sponsors.”
“I was impressed with this entire show,” said exhibitor Tom Day, Treasurer of Key Choice Collision Centers. “There were many quality vendors and attendees. Attendees were looking for industry information and this show really
delivered. We are already looking forward to next year.”
“The education sessions were a big hit, too,” added Janet Chaney, co-coordinator of the event and Executive Director of the Iowa Collision Repair Association. “Each classroom session was nearly full and additional chairs had
to be brought in for a few of the sessions. The presenters worked hard to create workshops of value and the participants reported great satisfaction with the material presented.”
Mike Anderson, the founder of CollisionAdvice, was the keynote speaker over lunch on Saturday, April 2nd. In his State of the Industry address, Mike told the 300 people in attendance that his theme for 2022 is “Grow Your Team,
Grow Your Business, and Change The Way You Compete”.
He pointed out that most shops leave “a bunch of money on the table” when writing estimates. He shared strategies to address this, sources for the procedure documents as well as what the average repair order is by State.
Anderson also focused on workforce development. He reported that 80,000 technicians will be needed by our industry by 2024, but demand is significantly outpacing a steadily declining supply of postsecondary collision technician entrants. He introduced an Automotive Collision Engineering Pilot program that is being powered in a joint venture between the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation and Ranken Technical College. This program is designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill essential roles in collision repair and enhance retention and advancement among collision repair technicians. Other pilot sites are the College of Lake County in Illinois, Contra Costa College in California and Texas State Technical College.
Cotton and Chaney are working to secure a date and location for this event in 2023. Interested parties can keep abreast of future plans on the event website, www.midwesttradeshow.org or Facebook page,
For more information on the Midwest Trade Show, visit www.midwesttradeshow.org.