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Last year, what was then called The Car Care World Expo™, attracted about 5,500 attendees and also the likes of former NFL player Joe Theismann, who was the keynote speaker. This year, with more attendees expected and a keynote address from NFL legend Mike Ditka, show insiders are saying it will be one of the best shows so far.
Now known as The Car Wash Show™, the three-day event, taking place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas from May 7-9, is gearing up for big numbers.
Eric Wulf, CEO of the International Carwash Association®, said that The Car Wash Show 2012 is shaping up to be an excellent event – with registration running well ahead of the past four years. "I'd like to think that the industry has begun emerging from several years of challenges, and that operators and suppliers are starting to make new investments in their business," he said. "Our attendees are particularly excited about our new on-floor cocktail reception, an expanded educational session lineup and dozens of new exhibiting companies."
Touchdowns and carwashing
The ante has definitely been raised after last year's keynote speaker was Theismann, who was a quarterback for the Washington Redskins when his career was suddenly cut short after his leg was broken during a televised Monday Night Football game. This year, Ditka, whose celebrity stature perhaps surpasses Theismann's, should draw in a record number of attendees.
Ditka, who for 11 years played for the NFL for three different teams, was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1961 and played for them until 1966. He was then traded to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1967 and stayed with them for one season, before being traded to the Dallas Cowboys where he played from 1969-1972. It was during his tenure with the Cowboys that he helped win the Super Bowl VI trophy against the Miami Dolphins in a 24-3 victory. He was the first tight end to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1988) and in 1999 he made The Sporting News's list of the top 100 Greatest Football Players of all time and was ranked #90.
He also knows a thing or two about running a business. He owns three restaurants, called Ditka's Restaurant, in Pittsburgh, Chicago and one outside of Chicago. Ditka also has his own line of wines, including a red, a chardonnay, a merlot and a cabernet sauvignon. He owns a resort called Runaway Beach Club in the Orlando, FL, area. He also owns a line of cigars and is co-owner of the Chicago Rush, which is an Arena Football League team.
Meet some of the presenters
Besides getting to network, and meet with company representatives on the showroom floor, the educational sessions are an attractive aspect of the show.
Chuck Bamford, Ph.D., will be giving a talk entitled: Strategic Growth Seminar: How To Find Competitive Advantages in Your Business, on May 8. Prior to pursuing his Ph.D., Bamford worked for Dominion Bankshares Corporation (now Wells Fargo Corporation) and served as a director of corporate training, systems analyst and COBOL programmer.
"The Car Wash Show really provides everyone an opportunity to re-think their business," Bamford said. "Not only from a technology standpoint or from a cost minimization perspective, but also from a Strategy point of view. I want every operator and every company to think about what really sets them apart from their competitors. Separating what is expected from what customers view as truly extraordinary is the key to success. I've worked with tens of thousands of managers over the past 19 years to improve their ability to generate significant new income for their organizations. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to share this with the folks at the show."
Another speaker, Rafi Mohammed, Ph.D., will present the Pricing Seminar: Using Price to Profit and Grow on May 7. Mohammed is the founder of the Cambridge, MA-based Culture of Profit LLC. He also frequently appears on CNBC, MSNBC, Fox Business News and the Canadian Broadcast Corporation as an expert on pricing, and he is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and thestreet.com. He also wrote, The 1% Windfall: How Successful Companies Use Price to Profit and Grow (HarperCollins, March 2010), and The Art of Pricing (Crown Business, October 2005).
"Pricing is an important issue for every carwash operator," Mohammed said. "My talk last year was a real hit — a very vocal and engaged crowd. I look forward to the same energy this year and my goal is for everyone to leave my session with new pricing for profit and growth ideas that they can immediately implement when they return home."