On June 14-15, the 2019 Southern Automotive Repair Conference (SARC) took place at the Jung Hotel in New Orleans, LA.
While this was the sixth year the event was held, this was the first year that it was hosted solely by the Mississippi Collision Repair Association (MSCRA) instead of through the collaboration of six associations. MSCRA Executive Director Ricki Garrett shared, “The 2019 SARC Conference was very successful. It took place as planned, and we were very pleased with both the number of attendees and exhibitor/sponsors as well as the enthusiastic response to the conference.”
“Since this was [MSCRA’s] first year to host the SARC, we had high hopes for a successful event but realistic expectations,” Garrett said. “Attendees were positive in their overall response. There were also great comments about The Jung Hotel and New Orleans as the site for the conference. The Jung is a very old, beautiful hotel, which has been completely remodeled. The pool party on the rooftop of the hotel was a hit.”
The 2019 SARC offered a variety of educational opportunities for attendees, including seminars on cycle time, damage analysis, ADAS, maximizing profits and more. MSCRA President Doug White welcomed attendees on Friday afternoon, and Aaron Schulenburg, Executive Director of SCRS, delivered the keynote presentation. Additional event speakers included asTech’s Jake Rodenroth, cartoonist and political commentator Marshall Ramsey, business coach Dave Jesiolowski, and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood who participated in a panel discussion and shared his time for a personal meet and greet with attendees, among others.
Friday evening also offered a pool-side party where attendees toasted SARC founder Steve Plier. Attendees also had a chance to participate in a special hop-on, hop-off New Orleans bus tour for a nominal fee.
According to Garrett, “The purpose of the SARC is to allow representatives of body shops in the Southeast to become trained and better educated on the latest in collision repairs. It also allows our industry partners to be able to showcase their products and services and to talk one-on-one with body shop owners. Additionally, the conference provides an opportunity for attendees to network with other professionals in the industry to share information and best practices.”