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The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) Annual Convention and Fast Lube Expo is a place for oil change professionals to gather and share ideas and strategies for success.
Professional Carwashing & Detailing sat down with Steve Christie, executive director of AOCA, to discuss this year’s convention.
Professional Carwashing & Detailing: When and where will the convention be held?
Steve Christie: The AOCA Fast Lube Expo will be April 28-May 1 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. The exposition portion of the show begins on April 29.
PC&D: This year marks the 20th anniversary for AOCA — are there any special events planned in celebration of this milestone?
SC: In appreciation of all our members, we are offering free registration for members and their entire fast lube teams. We are also opening the expo to people who are in the automotive repair business in the vicinity of Dallas. In doing so, we hope to attract many new potential buyers to the expo.
PC&D: What are your predicted attendance numbers for the year?
SC: Right now, registrations are off the wall. I can’t even begin to make a prediction. I believe this year’s attendance will exceed the previous record attendance numbers of 2,500, including both exhibit personnel and lube operators.
PC&D: What special events are planned for this year’s expo?
SC: Over the years we’ve had a lot of requests for programs for experienced owners. Saturday the 28th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. will feature a seminar for experienced owners only. It is designed for those who have been in the business for more than five years, and it will be limited to 40 attendees. This seminar offers two specialty presentations.
The morning session, Best Practices, will be led by Brian Faulkenberry of the NCM Group, recognized for his programs within the automotive industry. Faulkenberry, one of NCM’s seasoned moderators, will lead the group in a seminar to come together and discuss ideas, experiences and expertise.
The afternoon session, The Game is Played Away from the Ball, will be led by Dr. Lee Manzer, Professor of Marketing at Oklahoma State University. This seminar focuses on satisfying and retaining old customers through enhanced relationships. It utilizes basketball terminology to motivate and remind employees, managers and owners about the importance of taking care of the little things in relationship building.
PC&D: What new sessions are available this year?
SC: Because we are encouraging people to bring their entire fast lube team, we’ll have special sessions for fast lube managers. These sessions will take place on Monday, April 30th. Survivor: Training Island, offered from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., will discuss the importance of an effective training program for the survival and success of each employee. CSI: Claim Scene Investigation, the second portion of the special manager program, will teach effective ways to deal with service claims.
PC&D: Who is this year’s keynote speaker?
SC: Monday, April 30th from 4 – 5 p.m. will feature a keynote session led by living legend Sugar Ray Leonard. He will discuss the qualities necessary for success by telling the tale of his own life, inspiring all to overcome obstacles and reach goals.
PC&D: Out of all the seminars being offered, which will see the highest attendance numbers?
SC: I’m sure the Town Hall meeting, like it has in the past, will be the most popular.
This year’s Town Hall meeting, titled North American Oil Change Market Trends, will take place on Sunday, April 29 from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Dennis DesRosiers, one of the Automotive Aftermarket’s leading analysts, will share his vision of where the industry is headed in the years to come. DesRosiers has been described as an analyst who “peels away the mysteries” of the automotive industry.