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The 2011 Car Care World Expo (CCWE), taking place May 2-4 in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, is the largest show for carwash operators and suppliers. Over 300 exhibitors will be there, covering more than 125,000-square-feet of exhibit floor space. Some of you should have already received an Exhibit Product Guide, outlining Expo tips, a map of the showroom floor, a rundown of the schedule, a list of exhibitors and fun facts about Las Vegas. For those of you who did not receive the Exhibit Product Guide, you can pick up a copy at the Professional Carwashing & Detailing booth.
For those who will be attending for the first time, there is no doubt that the Expo can be somewhat overwhelming; there’s a lot of showroom floor to cover, a lot of sessions to be attended and a lot of people to meet. And, for those who have attended the show before, keep in mind that this year’s will be the largest one yet: There will be more exhibitors, more educational offerings and a new venue.
Along with using the Exhibit Product Guide, we want to give you even more help in maneuvering your way throughout the vast event, and help you to use your time advantageously. So, we spoke to Eric Wulf, executive director and CEO of the International Carwash Association™ (ICA), which is responsible for the CCWE, to get some advice.
Advice for first-timers
According to Wulf, first-time Expo attendees, and those who are new to the industry altogether, are in luck as there is a New Investor Seminar scheduled for Sunday, May 1 at 11:30 a.m. “It is perhaps a new entrant’s best opportunity for introduction to the professional carwash industry.” This full-day program features experts in every area of the business, sharing information and experience in areas such as:
- Model selection;
- Site evaluation; and
- Service provider evaluation and financing.
Another thing that has been added is that those who are new to the show are being offered guided tours of the showroom floor.
What’s new this year
According to Wulf, along with the new venue of the Sands, there have been a few other changes this year. First, he said, all ICA member companies are getting two complimentary passes to all three days.
Second, there will be more exhibitors this year than last.
“Third,” he said, “we have some outstanding educational programs on tap — from our New Investor and Petroleum Marketer seminars, to a recognized expert and CNBC contributor who is going to speak about pricing strategy. And we have our keynote address from Joe Theismann, and we’ve also added a golf tournament to the day prior to the show on Sunday, May 1.
How to maximize your Expo investment
Attendees should go into the Car Care World Expo experience with the following goals in mind, according to Wulf, in order to get the most from their investment.
First, he said you absolutely need to give yourself time to explore the more than 300 suppliers. “There is no substitution for being able to touch the equipment and ask face-to-face questions of the engineers and designers.”
Secondly, Wulf said you need to attend as many educational sessions as possible. “Everyone has heard the analogy that ‘one good idea’ can pay for a trip, but I would contend that it’s even more dramatic at this event. Let’s look at it this way: If you can generate five cents more — in added revenue per car or reduced expense — you will leave with much more than just the cost of the trip to Las Vegas.”