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Lauded as the world’s largest gathering of carwash operators and suppliers, Car Care World Expo 2011 (CCWE) is right around the corner. We are giving you the inside scoop on what to see, expect and hear at the three-day event.
Claire Darmanin is the newly appointed chief operating officer of the International Carwash Association™ (ICA) after previously serving as the Association’s director of education.
She now leads the WaterSavers™ program and is responsible for managing membership and communication efforts.
Darmanin recently sat down with Professional Carwashing & Detailing and let us in on what to expect at this year’s Expo, being held May 1-4, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.
Professional Carwashing & Detailing: Why should people attend the CCWE?
Darmanin: Simply put, CCWE is the carwash show. The most new products, the largest tradeshow floor and the best educational programs are offered to people from anywhere in the world. This year, CCWE is offering something that can’t be found anywhere else: ICA members get complimentary access to the tradeshow for all three days.
PC&D: What are some of the supplementary themes people will see on the tradeshow floor?
Darmanin: The tradeshow floor is going to reflect the newest and best of what’s happening in the industry; it is the place where new products will be introduced. Because of this, we are expecting to see quite a number of products and services that improve upon “total cost of ownership,” and they will meet the increasing customer demands for ease and value.
PC&D: What can attendees expect to see on the trade show floor?
Darmanin: My first recommendation is to join the ICA. Not only does this provide your company with two passes to the tradeshow floor, but it gives you access to our WaterSavers program and industry reports. After that, I would absolutely attend the educational programs — either the new investor or petroleum marketer seminars on May 1 or some of the more than two dozen sessions on May 2 and May 3.
PC&D: Can you give us a glimpse of what attendees can expect at this year’s Expo?
Darmanin: I’m excited to announce that Joe Theismann, a former NFL star and current entrepreneur and NFL Network analyst, will be joining us and presenting this year’s keynote address, the “Challenge of Change.” He’ll talk about how individuals and organizations can tackle change by keeping a positive mental outlook and by committing to a vision that guides you to the top. As always, attendees can expect an engaged exhibitor community ready to talk about new products and innovations and about how they can effectively improve their businesses.
We know that operators attend to evaluate new products and learn about industry trends. Our tradeshow floor and educational programs will continue to deliver on those points — better than anywhere else.
We also provide an opportunity for networking. This year, we’ve added a golf tournament, which takes place May 1, and we’ve expanded our Welcome Celebration on the evening of May 2. And, carwash professionals will be able to learn from speakers that they wouldn’t normally meet.
PC&D: How and why were the educational programs/seminars selected?
Darmanin: Just like the best operators and suppliers, we listen to our customers. Each year, we survey attendees and convene focus groups of industry leaders to evaluate what we have done and plan for the next year. Those processes again guided our selections for this year. We also are expanding the ability of suppliers to present programs unique to their expertise, perspectives or products. Together, we plan to once again have a very robust program.
PC&D: How will this year’s Expo be different from last year’s?
Darmanin: Nothing ever stays the same in business. Competition, customers and technology are always changing and CCWE provides the best place to plan your response. Perhaps last year, an attendee came to learn about point-of-sale options; this year, they might want to learn about utility costs or chemical usage. In one place, for three days, you can learn about it all.
We’re also excited to be moving the event to the Sands Expo Center and the Venetian and Palazzo Hotels — all world-class destinations for our attendees.