So, does our
industry need or want another trade show?
I have been
asked this question dozens of times by our members and other industry
colleagues ever since Messe Frankfurt and Advanstar Communications announced on
April 30 that they were launching Automechanika Chicago next year.
answer to that question is that the industry manufacturers and buyers and
repair shop owners will ultimately decide whether they want to participate in
one more trade show and/or training and education event.
We at the
Auto Care Association believe in an open and free marketplace and we believe
that competition is good. And there is a lot of competition out there already
in the trade show and education and training arena.
believe that AAPEX is the premier event of the year for our industry. We take
great pride in the fact that AAPEX has evolved far beyond a traditional trade
show. Today, AAPEX is a global experience that not only showcases all of the
automotive parts, products, equipment and technologies from around the world,
but also provides quality customized education and training sessions for repair
shop and store owners and managers, WDs, jobbers and professional technicians.
We call it AAPEXedu.
to AAPEX, there are a number of other successful annual events designed to meet
the needs of our industry. They include NACE and CARS, hosted by the Automotive
Service Association, the ASA Midwest’s Vision show and the Auto Wares Tech Expo.
will wait along with everyone else to see whether our industry will support
Automechanika Chicago. However, I do feel compelled to comment on the
difference between trade shows run by trade associations and trade shows run by
Care Association and our AAPEX partners MEMA/AASA reinvest the proceeds from
AAPEX back into the industry. Our associations rely on the revenue from AAPEX
to provide valuable programs and services to our respective member companies.
For the Auto Care Association, AAPEX is the wellspring that made the Right to
Repair victory possible and funds the Be Car Care Aware consumer education
campaign and developed technology standards and solutions, for example.
hope that Advanstar and Messe Frankfurt will follow our example and give back
some of what they take from the industry for this event.