What Is the Collision Industry Conference (CIC)?

What Is the Collision Industry Conference (CIC)?

The Collision Industry Conference (CIC) is a quarterly forum that brings together collision repairers, insurers, automakers, vendors and other industry segment participant for presentations and panel discussions on a variety of issues.

Through discussion at the meetings and volunteer committee work that takes place between the meetings, CIC works to build industry awareness and consensus on various issues, or offer proposed solutions or best practices that can be adopted on a voluntary basis.

CIC was founded, originally as the Collision Repair Conference, rather informally in 1983 by California shop owner Al Estorga and a handful of others. Estorga had been angry after being told at an industry event it was not the appropriate time or place to discuss an issue he raised. He wanted to create a forum where it was “always the right time and place” to discuss the issues most important to the collision industry.

Early meetings were little more than one or two dozen shop owners gathering to talk. CIC meetings now generally attract 250-500 people. Though it varies by meeting, generally about 25% to 30% of attendees represent repairer organizations, about 10% to 15% represent insurance companies and about half represent automakers, parts suppliers, paint manufacturers, associations and other industry vendors.

CIC is more of an “event” than an “organization.” It has no members, board of directors, bylaws nor executive director. It has an administrator who makes meeting arrangements, and everyone who attends a CIC meeting is essentially an equal participant.

The meetings are led by a CIC chairman who is selected by a committee of past CIC chairmen; though that selection is for a one-year term, CIC chairs have traditionally been granted a second one-year term.

CIC generally has about a dozen informally-structured committees arranged by broad subject matter---i.e., Talent Pool and Education, Governmental, Parts and Materials, Industry Relations. The number and names of CIC committees change periodically based on key issues or topics facing the industry.

The CIC chairman selects one or more chairmen to head each committee. Anyone is welcome to sign up to participate in any of the committees.

Some of the work products to come out of CIC include an industry glossary of terms, a calibration workflow process and a variety of guidelines for “best practices” in the industry.

CIC discussions and committee work has also led to the formation of a number of industry organizations, including the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) and the Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA).

CIC meetings are held quarterly in locations around the country, often in conjunction with other industry events. Most meetings are generally one day or are held over two half-days. There is a fee to attend each meeting, or participants can alternatively pay an annual Gold Pin Sponsor fee that includes door fees for the meetings for that year.

More information and a schedule for upcoming CIC meetings is available at www.CIClink.com.

John Yoswick

John Yoswick is a freelance writer and Autobody News columnist who has been covering the collision industry since 1988, and the editor of the CRASH Network... Read More

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