While the logistics of the merger have yet to be resolved, HABA will become the Houston Chapter of ABAT, joining ABAT’s chapters in East Texas, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, and ABAT hopes to add a Rio Grande Chapter in 2020. ABAT anticipates electing several Houston members to their Board of Directors.
Reiterating the importance of ABAT gaining strength in numbers through this merger, Richards pointed out, “We all know that insurance companies treat different markets in different ways, and various markets do things differently. Our goal is to create a single collision repair industry in Texas; we want all regions to be talking about the same things, to be educated on the same things. Then, we’ll be able to say it’s not just one segmented market doing things differently – it’s the whole collision repair industry in the state of Texas.”
The 2019 Texas Auto Body Trade Show was a huge success with a variety of educational opportunities for attendees on topics ranging from estimating to proper compensation to procedures, in addition to a large trade show that boasted over 60 exhibitors sharing their latest equipment and services. Platinum Sponsor AkzoNobel drew a lot of attention with their virtual spraying unit. Some of the event’s additional sponsors included BASF, Autel, Axalta, English Color and Supply Inc., PPG, Reliable Automotive Equipment, Sherwin Williams, Single Source, Tasco Auto Color, AirPro Diagnostics, CARSTAR, FinishMaster, and KRI Tech, among others.
“This year’s Trade Show was bigger and better than we could have imagined. The show floor saw great traffic, and our seminar rooms were full both days. We’ve always had great classes, but we took it to another level this time,” Richards said. “With technology changing so quickly, you need to get educated and know what’s going on in the industry. I’m confident that attendees walked away from this show with information to utilize their first day back to work. We’re already planning for an even stronger show in 2020.”
ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle added, “This was the best show we’ve had in the five years we’ve hosted the event. We’ve already received encouraging feedback from exhibitors and attendees who are already gearing up to return next year.