Of all the places in this country that are built for celebrations, reunions and general excitement, Las Vegas is probably the “number 1 spot”. Coincidentally, of all the industries that deserve all of these things, the automotive aftermarket tops the list.
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It was no coincidence, of course, that Las Vegas and the aftermarket met at AAPEX 2021, but it certainly looked like a long overdue reception. After two years, our industry has finally made a comeback.
The Sands Expo Center hosted the annual industry business and networking meeting, allowing visitors to touch, try and buy the latest product innovations from leading manufacturers. Training from top professionals in the industry was readily available and Joe’s Garage lived up to their billing, offering attendees – many of whom were store owners in attendance for the first time – the chance to view the equipment. store, diagnostic tools, and front office resources in use in a real store environment.
Of course, there were differences from the shows of the past. Things looked different. Things looked different. Things were different.
This year’s AAPEX was unique for attendees and exhibitors – and that’s not a bad thing.
There was a sense of celebration that, as an industry, we have been through chaos over the past year and a half. From critical business statement to managing unprecedented customer engagement, implementing significant changes in the business model, and addressing supply chain challenges, the U.S. service industry and the repair continued to roll.
From my perspective, this year’s AAPEX seemed to me to be the most “business” show in years. People were there to learn, to connect, to do business.
“In addition to being a buyer, there were a lot of people who had never been to AAPEX before,” Vic Tarasik told me. Vic was one of the architects of Joe’s Garage and said he spoke to a number of store owners who decided this was the year they were actually going to get practical information on new technology to move their store forward. in the future.
“A store owner told me that he had read a lot of magazine articles and watched a lot of ADAS videos online, but hadn’t seen calibration equipment in action. We’ve all done a great job learning virtually over the past year, but there’s something special about getting close to the vehicle and seeing the work get done, ”says Vic.
Others felt the same. To one exhibitor, everyone I spoke with at the show said that while the overall foot traffic was down, the quality of the conversation was very high.
“There was a recognition of a mutual understanding that we need each other,” agrees Vic. “The buyer wants to see the products in action and the exhibitor wants to engage in a real way. Over the past year, there were concerns that in-person events were unnecessary – this AAPEX, I think, answered them. There is no substitute.
If you weren’t able to attend this year’s AAPEX show, you can find out more about what you missed by visiting AAPEXShow.com for photos, videos and testimonials from attendees, exhibitors and officials. salon.