The Wisconsin Auto Collision Technicians Association (WACTAL) held the 2014 WACTAL Conference and Trade Show Friday–Saturday, February 21–22, 2014, at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
The conference began on Friday morning with a slew of educational seminars. Greg Horn, VP of industry relations for Mitchell International, educated attendees on the current state of the collision repair industry by exploring claim frequency trends and key performance indicators (KPIs). He also touched on advancing vehicular technology in terms of changes in vehicle construction and the increase in cars being manufactured with accident avoidance systems.
Mark Mueller of PPG Refinish followed with "The New Collision Repair Administrative Paradigm." This seminar sought to teach participants a better way to deal with the pressures related to an increase in administrative responsibilities for managing claims.
After lunch, Tony Passwater, president of AEII, presented "How Have We Gotten Where We Are Now?" during which he examined the strategies used to force the collision repair industry into its current state, as well as how to identify and counteract these practices to improve the industry’s future.
WACTAL members met for a brief meeting before opening the trade show on Friday night. This was followed by the Hospitality Social, which provided attendees and exhibitors a chance to relax and network while enjoying the hors d’oeuvres sponsored by BASF, Body Shop Supply Co., Broadway Automotive Group, Finishmaster, Motors Service & Supply, PPG, and West Bend Mutual Insurance.
In "Salvage Vehicle Inspection – What You Need to Know" on Saturday morning, trooper Quinn Sieber, salvage vehicle inspector for the Wisconsin State Patrol, reinforced the illegality of removing VIN tags.
With the conclusion of the informational seminars, the trade show reopened on Saturday, an exciting expansion from previous years when the show was only open one day.
Nearly 30 companies exhibited at the 2014 WACTAL show, including 3M, Akzo Nobel, Axalta Coating Systems, Mitchell, BASF, PPG Industries, FinishMaster, and many others.
All aspects of the event were well-received by participants, though stormy weather on Thursday and Friday impacted attendance slightly.