Topics covered include Northern NACE, Dan Risley's 2001 hire by SCRS, the collapse of M2 and the effect of insurance advertising.
20 years ago in the collision repair industry (June 1996)
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) is calling its first but controversial Northern Autobody Congress and Exposition a success. The event, dubbed “NACE Jr.” in the industry trade press, was held in Chicago and drew about 6,380 attendees – a respectable-sized showing, although fewer than the 8,000 attendees organizers had predicted.
Like the annual ASA-sponsored International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE), the Northern Autobody show combined technical and management training sessions, motivational speakers and social events with a large trade show. The new show was designed to attract those in the north central region of the country who may be less likely to travel to the southern locations at which NACE is held.
While many of the speakers and classes during the show had low attendance, nearly all the shop owners interviewed at the event had positive comments about the 522-booth trade show itself.
ASA sources say dates and plans for a 1997 Northern Autobody show have not been finalized.
– As reported in Autobody News. The Chicago show was controversial for ASA because some vendors didn’t like the idea of having two major trade shows a year, and because even some ASA state associations felt left out of the decision to hold the event, which some of the groups felt could impinge on their own regional trade shows. While the number of trade show exhibitors and the announced attendance at the event were larger than NACE itself is is today, it paled in comparison to the size of NACE in those days, and that combined with negative feedback from some vendors and state affiliate groups led ASA to shelve the idea of “Northern NACE.”