By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario -- November 14, 2015 -- Get ready, and get excited. The upcoming CCIF meeting for the Toronto area has a new format, and could turn out to be the largest collision repair industry meeting in the history of the country. This is not overstating the size of the event. This really could be the biggest event ever in the collision repair industry in Canada.
Leanne Jefferies is the Director of Collision Programs for the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA). In a recent conversation with Collision Repair magazine, she expressed her mounting excitement about the coming meeting.
“It's a little bit extra-special this year. We've got a new location and a new format,” says Jefferies.
Typically the CCIF holds one meeting in the east, one in the west and then one in central Canada. That trend will continue. But the upcoming meeting is an attempt to create a new and special event for the entire Canadian industry. Added to this year's meeting is a car and technology event, the CCIF Cars & Technology Showcase. That is, there will be a trade show and product and display showcase. An evening reception will see attendees network with industry leaders and enjoy cocktails, interactive food stations and hors d'oeuvres while they explore new cars, technology, tools and equipment.
“I'm so excited about this,” says Jefferies. She notes that Canadian manufacturers will be on site showing off the latest and greatest products and technology.
“We'll see the latest advances in car manufacturing and construction, whether it be aluminum or safety features. We'll have the latest technology for fixing vehicles, whether it's body frame measurement, power tools, refinishing tools or software. We'll have it all. This is an opportunity to see what is cutting edge in cars and technology,” she says. “Not everyone gets to attend these big shows in the US. So this is a way to bring it to an event in Canada. Some people might not be aware of what the cutting edge is in technology and tools out there. This is a chance to get up to speed on that.”
One of the principles CCIF operates on is a duty to help those in the industry manager their business for success. This event is a perfect example of this.
“We want to provide information to the industry so they can be ready to fix these vehicles properly,” says Jefferies. It is also a chance to create the premier annual event for the CCIF. “This is a chance to elevate this industry to a new level. I'm very excited.”
The evening reception will be followed by a full-day CCIF meeting with breakfast, networking break and lunch hosted inside the new showcase area. The meeting will also feature a full slate of speakers. The agenda hasn't been released yet. Stay tuned to CRM for an upcoming story on that. But what is also exciting about this meeting is that it will be one of the first held at the new Universal Event Space in the rapidly growing city of Vaughan, north of Toronto. The new 85,000 sq. ft. facility has two outdoor patios and features state of the art technology.
“It just opened at the end of September,” says Jefferies. Get ready for some good food. The centre is owned by a family that began in the restaurant industry. So, “the food is going to be great,” says Jefferies. Best of all, the centre is surrounded by hotels and, “is just twelve minutes from Pearson Airport,” says Jefferies. There are two room blocks available at special CCIF prices, until December 14. Element Vaughan Southwest and Holiday Inn Express & Suites are just steps away from the new facility. You can register online through the CCIF website.
Convenience, food, the best in tech and cars—what could be better? No wonder tickets are going fast. Last year's meeting saw 399 industry members gather in Toronto. But Jefferies expects this event could beat that.
“The meeting is always packed, but we think this one is going to be really well-attended,” she says. Only 600 tickets are available for this meeting. But be warned: There is no registration at the door “We're only doing advance registration. There will be no at-the-door registrations,” says Jefferies. And tickets are going fast. When asked if they were selling Jefferies said “Oh yes, People are registering early. We're seeing a lot of people signing up. People don't want to miss this. I look at CCIF as the place where people meet. Everyone is coming together. That's our goal.”
For more information on the upcoming CCIF Cars & Technology Showcase, please visit ccif.ca.