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Friday, 09 September 2022 10:30

ABAT Hosts Successful Trade Show in Irving, TX

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Pictured, left to right, are Danny Gredinberg, DEG; Robert Grieve, Nylund’s Collision Center; Erin Solis, Certified Collision Group; Jill Tuggle, ABAT; Carol Grieve; and Mark See, Ground Zero Collision. Pictured, left to right, are Danny Gredinberg, DEG; Robert Grieve, Nylund’s Collision Center; Erin Solis, Certified Collision Group; Jill Tuggle, ABAT; Carol Grieve; and Mark See, Ground Zero Collision. Photo courtesy of Robert Grieve.

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Live demos, celebrity appearances, education sessions and body shop competitions were all part of the Texas Auto Body Trade Show, held Aug. 26-27.

The annual two-day event was hosted by the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) and took place at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, TX.

 

“Attendance was great this year,” said Jill Tuggle, ABAT’s executive director, who estimates there were about 850 attendees. “I really enjoyed the camaraderie aspect of the show and loved seeing our members who traveled from up to eight hours away from all over Texas.”

 

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The Texas Auto Body Trade Show was held Aug. 26-27 at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, TX. Photo courtesy of Robert Grieve.

 

ABAT dates back to 2014 when Burl Richards, owner of Burl’s Collision Center, helped create the association with Chad Neal, owner of Paint Works, an AkzoNobel jobber, and an active ABAT board member since its inception.

 

“Our main focus is educating the industry and consumers on safe and proper repairs,” said Richards, who has been the association’s president since day one. “We also work to build up the industry and try to help pass legislation that will help all stakeholders.”

 

Since the tradeshow was formed eight years ago, the event has been planned every year except one during the pandemic. It is held to foster the success of all levels of the automotive repair industry across Texas and the Southwest region. This year, body shop owners from Oklahoma and Colorado were also in attendance.

 

“I'm proud of the growth that we've seen in such a short time, especially in some of the areas of the show that we really wanted to develop like the ‘Big Shots’ competition,” said Tuggle. “This was our second year doing that and we saw a lot of growth and excitement.”

 

Several years ago, Richards suggested implementing a “Big Shots” skills competition for the local Texas market geared towards students to encourage more technicians to attend the show. It was held for the first time last year.

 

“As the largest auto body trade show in Texas, I knew that we needed to attract more people to attend,” said Richards. “People have no idea how educational it is.”

 

He believes the competition will...


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