Organized by AASP/NJ, supported by Thomas Greco Publishing, and boosted by official show sponsor BASF, the the show appeared well-attended and provided an active exhibitor hall along with some very informative presentations.
Jeff McDowell, AASP/NJ President, said prior to the show, “Despite the economy, our attendance has been on the rise over the last two years,” adding, “We are confident that trend will continue.”
BASF’s sponsorship and the co-location of meetings of CIC, SCRS, NABC, and co-op Assured Performance Network, reflects the heightened significance of the show to repairers in the region as well as the national organizations who chose to hold their meetings immediately prior or concurrently with the show.
Along with the latest in equipment and technology, Northeast™ 2011 offered a full slate of educational and training seminars on topics including waterborne paint application and drying, estimating, steering, risk management for collision & mechanical shops and technical certification courses from I-CAR in both Spanish and English.
One of the most obvious enhancements this year was a well-coordinated social marketing campaign which was the second year in which AASP/NJ used social media to help promote the show. “Last year, we got a ton of positive feedback from exhibitors and attendees who had heard about the show either through Twitter, LinkedIn or our Facebook ‘Fan’ page,” said McDowell. “These social media tools definitely helped generate interest in the show last year, and I foresee the response to be even greater this year as we up our efforts.” AASP/NJ has also created a YouTube page (www.youtube.com/AASPNJNORTHEAST), where promotional videos before and after the show are posted.
The weeklong schedule of national automotive repair industry meetings,held for the first time during the show kicked off on Wednesday, March 16 with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)’s Board Meeting and Awards Luncheon, held at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands. Thursday, March 17, brought the Collision Industry Conference (CIC)’s quarterly meeting and reception to the Crowne Plaza leading up to the SCRS Annual Meeting and Board Elections on Friday morning. The East Coast Resolution Forum & Leadership Conference was held off later that day at Meadowlands and the Assured Performance Network hosted a member shop meeting later in the afternoon.
“We are very excited and thrilled that industry leaders from around the country are coming to our NORTHEAST™ show and holding their meetings,” said McDowell. “Having the show at the Meadowlands has increased our exposure and influence locally and nationally and I think this is a reflection of that.”