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The Western Carwash Association’s (WCA) annual show, the Western Car Wash Show, is being held September 11-12 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. With just a little over a week to go, Professional Carwashing & Detailing has pooled together all of the information, tips and insight you need to know before heading out west. A schedule of events, tips on how to maximize your time at the show and an interview with WCA Chair Darrin Baum. For even more information, visit http://convention.wcwa.org.
Debra Gorgos: What is the theme of this year’s show and how did the theme come about?
Darrin Baum: “Small Investment – Big Ideas”. People attend trade shows for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is they are looking for ideas on how to improve their business and grow profitability, all the while balancing that against the monetary and time investment to attend. We used that thought process as our guide in building the show agenda and content, striving to deliver both for our attendees.
Debra Gorgos: What is different about this year’s show, compared to last year’s?
Darrin Baum: There are three main differences this year versus last.
- We went to a condensed two-day format that allows operators to get all the info the need, whether it is education or interaction with vendors, and get back to running their business.
- We really beefed up education in the form of professional speakers who will provide tangible, real world information that operators can take back with them and use to grow their business.
- Lastly, we brought back a large scale networking event featuring a San Diego Harbor Cruise, that will provide a great opportunity to interact with other operators in a relaxed, fun environment.
Debra Gorgos: Can you be more specific as to what we can expect with the educational sessions?
Darrin Baum: This is an area that we will continue to focus on to bring greater value to attendees. We have Chip Conley, Author and Founder/CEO of Joei de Vivre Hotels, who established a highly successful hotel chain focused on the customer experience. He’ll talk about how various companies have set themselves apart from the competition through superior experiences for their customers, and how that can be accomplished on our industry. We have three big sessions led by experts on social media, working with/managing multiple generational types, and an always big topic, labor law. Additionally, we’ll have great “nuts and bolts” sessions for both Self Serve and Conveyor operators that will offer great forums to exchange ideas and learn from one another.
Debra Gorgos: What advice do you have for first-time attendees?
Darrin Baum: Attending a trade show is like any other business meeting someone may attend. You usually get out of it what you put into it. For a new attendee, I think means attending as much education as possible, introducing yourself and interacting with other operators, and taking advantage of the trade show time to talk with the many great vendors in attendance who are truly experts in our industry. One of the great things about our industry is there is a great camaraderie and willingness to help one another. There is really no better place to take advantage of that than a great regional show like the Western Car Wash Show!