|NACE 2014 brought non-stop action and education to Detroit. See the gallery below for nearrly one hundred photos from the event, including coverage of CCIF, Canada Night, and more!|
By Darryl Simmons
Detroit, Michigan -- August 4, 2014 -- There must have been some Motor City magic breathing a whole new life into the industryâ€™s crown jewel show. The air crackled with excitement at this yearâ€™s NACE. From show-floor buzz to forward-looking CCIF presentations, from cutting-edge training to extraordinary social events, this was, according to exhibitors and attendees, the best collision repair exposition in recent memory.
Partnering with numerous other associations and events, the National Autobody Conference and Exposition (NACE) clearly showed there was still plenty of support and benefits for an industry-specific event separate from SEMA in Las Vegas.
The 2014 NACE Expo kicked off July 30, offering a diverse collection of new features, including a larger show floor, a rebranded MSO Symposium as well as manufacturer-specific classes and a strong focus on aluminum repairs.
Sessions included presentations delivered by Ford on its new 2015 F-150 model with Aluminum Repair Information, as well as details on its National Body Shop Program. Staying on topic, Car-O-Liner led an in-depth analysis on the differences between aluminum and steel structural repairs. Chief Automotive Technologies also presented its insights on the aluminum trends that have been dominating industry discussion throughout 2014. In addition, 3M separated the facts from the myths on aluminum repairs, while Pro Spot detailed the specifics of aluminum welding for collision repair professionals.
The first-ever CCIF hosted outside Canada was one of the main attractions for the large contingent of Canadians who attended. Leanne Jefferies, Director, Collision Programs for AIA Canada, welcomed the attendees and CCIF Chairman Larry Jefferies introduced the line-up. Avant-garde presentations by Vincent Romans from The Romans Group and David Lingham from IBIS were followed by a panel of Canadian experts including Tony Canade, President of Assured Automotive, and CARSTARâ€™s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Macaluso. They ensured the audience of more than 150 stakeholders was informed as well as entertained.
|The panel discussion from CCIF's first meeting to take place outside of Canada featuring from right, Vincent Romans of The Romans Group, Tony Canade of Assured Automotive, and Michael Macaluso of CARSTAR.|
Following the forum, a reception gave the opportunity for attendees to mingle and network, adding value to the wealth of information received. Also bringing Canadians together was a Canada Night reception hosted by Collision Repair magazine on the show floor, where exhibitors and attendees raised a glass or two in honour of Canada.
I-CAR offered NACE delegates more courses than ever before, including classes specific to aluminum exterior panel repair and replacement, and 2015 Ford F-150 structural repair.
In the past, the MSO symposium aimed to include the largest gathering of multi-shop operators in the collision repair industry. This yearâ€™s revamped MSO forum brought together a broader spectrum of collision professionals under the newly christened banner, Collision Repair Executive Symposium (CRES). The day consisted of education and networking opportunities, making the event more inclusive, bringing together as many industry leaders as possible.
But the stars of the show were the numerous exhibits jam-packed with the latest and best in collision repair equipment that ran in conjunction with the training seminars in the nearby hall.
â€œThis is definitely the best NACE show in a long time,â€ said Dana Alexander of CSN - Danaâ€™s Collision in Fredericton, NB. â€œIt was a great lineup of education seminars and plenty of new items on the show floor. I especially enjoyed the show app that let me find booths and keep track of events. Great job! â€
Don Morton, of the newly-expanded Don-Mor CARSTAR in London, ON, praised the show organizers on their insights and attention to detail for attendees.
â€œHaving just expanded my location, I needed new equipment. Now we will be prepared for aluminum repairs by year-end,â€ said Morton. â€œI was impressed with the selection of manufacturers able to equip us. The layout of the show made it easy to find specific booths and the proximity to the education events was convenient.â€
Exhibitors were also pleased with the turnout of serious buyers looking for new equipment.
â€œWe are very pleased with the workflow, the educational seminars and the venue,â€ said Jeff Kern, President of Car-O-Liner. â€œI especially enjoyed the CRES symposium. Many of our key accounts are here and we are happy to have the opportunity to spend quality time together with them.â€
Car-O-Liner took advantage of the venue and timing to host more than a hundred guests and welcome them to the show at a special event on the opening evening.
Kurt Lammon from Urethane Supply Company was also very excited about the show and deemed it an overwhelming success. â€œNACE is back! We are happy to be here and are happy with the turnout of shops and distributors,â€ he said.
According to John Brill from Steck Manufacturing, the show offered something for everyone which added a new sense of excitement. â€œItâ€™s great to see all the training and education on aluminum. Life is back at the show.â€
Watch for a full report on NACE in the next issue of Collision Repair magazine!