Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Going to the NRCC or WCA show?

October 5, 2011

The month of October is a busy one in terms of carwash-related shows and expos. We have the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC) taking place Oct. 3-5 in Atlantic City; the Australian Car Wash Association Expo 2011 in Queensland, Australia from Oct. 16-18; and the Western Carwash Association (WCA) Convention & Tradeshow 2011 in San Diego, CA, from Oct. 17-19. That's three big shows in under three weeks. I spoke to two people — Suzanne Stansbury, an NRCC Board Member, and Bill Carbonel, president of the WCA — who are both heavily involved in the two shows. They both gave me the inside scoop on what the attendees should expect, plan for, and hopefully take away, from each of the conventions.

The WCA Convention & Tradeshow

Debra Gorgos: What can attendees expect at this year's show?

Bill Carbonel: Attendees can expect the finest and largest regional trade show and education that they are accustomed to with the WCA. This year's San Diego location will add a unique venue with world-renowned attractions and beautiful weather. The location of the convention center, on the beautiful San Diego Bay and across the street from the Gas Lamp district, with its hundreds of restaurants, hotels and night clubs, will allow our attendees to enjoy the convention without having to rent a car or take a cab. In addition, our guest keynote speakers will be Navy Seal Brandon Webb and Economic Futurist Dr. Roger Selbert. These dynamic speakers will teach us leadership skills and what to expect in our industry in the future.

DG: Please tell us about the Midway extravaganza.

BC: We have been fortunate in the past to have great receptions in places like Studio 54 and Wet Republic at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. To build on that success, the Board and Committee chose the Midway for its unique attendee experience and location to the convention center. We will have the entire ship to ourselves for the event and will have guided tours, live entertainment and food and drink. The Midway will provide the attendee a lifetime of memories. They will be able to explore a floating city at sea and relive nearly 50 years of world history aboard the longest-serving Navy aircraft carrier of the 20th century.

Exhibits range from the crew's sleeping quarters to a massive galley, engine room, the ship's jail, officer's country, post office, machine shops, and pilots' ready rooms, as well as primary flight control and the bridge high in the island over the flight deck. Especially popular are the Docents you'll meet throughout the ship. Each is eager to share a personal story, an anecdote, or amazing statistic, adding to your amazement throughout your adventure. In addition, you will find over 25 restored military aircraft.

DG: We know last year's show was a success, in terms of the number of attendees, do you anticipate similar success for this year's show?

BC: Yes we do. San Diego's location sits within a five-hour drive of the nation's largest collection of carwashes. We anticipate that we will be able to attract a large percentage of these operators in addition to those flying in for the show and enjoying the tourism that San Diego brings with it.

DG: Is there a theme to this year's show? If yes, what is it?

BC: Our theme this year is "ACCELERATE your knowledge, your networking, your bottom line." We feel that our new location and fresh ideas and education will help accelerate our attendees' business and bottom line.

DG: What advice do you have for first-time attendees?

BC: Book your travel arrangements early. San Diego is a very popular destination. We have secured several room blocks at various hotels. Given San Diego's attractiveness they will not last for long.

The Northeast Regional Carwash Convention

Debra Gorgos: What can attendees expect at this year's show?

Suzanne Stansbury: There is a little bit of everything at this year's show including a seminar by the International Detailing Association (IDA); Market Your Wash Like a Pro, put on by CarWash College; and an outstanding keynote, "Weather or Not?" featuring syndicated forecaster Joe Bastardi. There are also a number of exceptional educational programs scheduled, including one on Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) that operators cannot afford to miss. All attendees should check out the entire line up on

DG: Please tell us some more about the keynote speaker Joe Bastardi.

SS: Formerly the Chief Long Range Forecaster at Accuweather, Joe Bastardi is an institution in the science of weather prediction. During his 32-year tenure at Accuweather, he built a large private client services business. He is well known for his blog featuring the popular videos "The Big Dog" and "The Long Ranger." Right now he is a chief forecaster at WeatherBell Analytics LLC. He has a reputation for making bold and accurate forecasts. We feel that he is the perfect keynote speaker for our industry!

DG: In what ways will this year's show be different from last year's?

SS: Last year we moved to a new venue (the Trump Taj Mahal) and that really energized our show and set it apart from other regionals. This year we are building on that momentum and our show floor is a perfect example of that. We are nearly sold out of our 60,000-square-foot space and our vendors are bringing lots of heavy equipment because that's what our attendees want to see and touch. We are a show that is priced to attract attendees and encourage participation from large and small operators alike.

Being right on the Atlantic City boardwalk has also brought a new dimension to our show and it gives our attendees lots of options.

DG: We know last year's show was considered successful, in terms of the number of attendees, therefore do you anticipate similar success this year?

SS: I don't want to jinx the show, but by all accounts we should break last year's numbers on many levels.