Each year, the Northeast’s carwashing community gathers together for the Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC). This year, the event is taking place from Oct. 1-3 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Professional Carwashing & Detailing (PC&D) recently caught up with this year’s chairman, Doug Rieck, prior to the event for a look behind the curtain of planning. In this industry-exclusive interview, Rieck highlights the event’s organizers and background as well as updated plans for this year’s event and much more.

Need more reasons to attend this popular, educational and effective networking event? Rieck provides many reasons in the following interview.

PC&D | What is your role in this year’s event, and who are the key organizers?

DR | This year, I have the privilege and responsibility of being the chairman of the NRCC. The NRCC rotates show hosting responsibilities among the five member associations. These consist of the Car Wash Operators of New Jersey (CWONJ), New York State Car Wash Association (NYSCWA), Connecticut Carwash Association (CCA), New England Carwash Association (NECA) as well as the Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association (MCA).

The host for 2018 is the CWONJ. This means the New Jersey association has the lead role in running the show. I am the president of the CWONJ and have been involved on the NRCC board of directors for more than 20 years.

Our 15 or so NRCC board members and the member carwash associations take the show very seriously and regard it as a collaborative affair, which means that all of us are involved in its planning and execution. There are many conference calls and meetings involving all, so that we can put on the best show possible.

The NRCC board consists of volunteer delegates from each member association. I cannot stress enough that the show is a result of a combined effort from all the member associations. The show management company takes direction from us to ensure the best possible outcome.

PC&D | What are some of the primary goals and objectives of NRCC 2018?

DR | This year, we do not have a theme for the show, but our goal has been to look at previous years’ shows and build on our success and improve where needed.

Our first NRCC was held in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1989. Our intent has always been to provide a benefit for Northeast carwashers who cannot attend the national trade show but still need a venue in which to improve their skills as operators. The show floor is very important to all, but we have consistently worked on and are proud of our educational sessions.

An important part of the show is its relative proximity to carwashes in the Northeast. The farthest drive for an attendee is about five hours, and a high percentage are within a two-hour drive from the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Atlantic City is close to being the geographic center. It is tourist-oriented with affordable accommodation and, of course, has the draw of gaming and some exceptional restaurants. This makes the NRCC an affordable show to attend. In the event of rain or heavy clouds on the show days, we typically end up with many extra attendees because of our proximity to a high concentration of washes.

Part of our mission as a trade show is to bring together carwash operators in the Northeast. All of us share similar weather, problems, issues and customer types. As a result, we can all learn from our peers in educational sessions, after session talks and on the show floor. I have learned much over the years talking with other carwashers from across the Northeast. Every carwash market has its own special nature, which is what makes us unique.

PC&D | What are some of the planned seminars or presentations for this year’s event that you are most looking forward to? Why?

DR | This year’s keynote is from Jay Rifenbary. His keynote is titled, “NO EXCUSE,” incorporating core values, accountability and balance into your life and career. Jay is a West Point graduate and comes highly recommended. His message is one we all need to hear.

This is the second year that we are having a “Virtual Carwash Tour,” starting Monday, Oct. 1st, at 3:30 p.m. Last year’s “Virtual Tour” was standing room only with more than 200 attendees who were glued to the screen learning how a variety of operators ran their washes and made them unique.

Related: NRCC 2018 Schedule of Events

It was great to “virtually” visit some of the best carwashes in the northeast with the narrator being the owner explaining his site. This year, we are going to briefly revisit those washes and what has transpired over the last 12 months and then take attendees on another “Virtual Tour” of four new great carwashes. No tour buses are necessary. Just grab a chair and watch the big screen and be “wowed.” Light snacks and beverages are available to attendees.

An important part of the show and the best-ever networking venue is the Welcome Reception on Tuesday, Oct. 2nd, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is being held at the The Water Club at the Borgata and is part of the Full Registration package. The food is plentiful thanks to ICS’s generous sponsorship.

Another must-see seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 3rd, from 8 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.  is Sonny’s Paul Fazio, who will speak on The State of the Industry. Paul is an articulate speaker with a wealth of knowledge and insight on this industry and its future. These are just a few of the seminars and events on hand. You can see the entire lineup at www.nrccshow.com.

PC&D | What can attendees expect to be new this year?

DR | This year, the NRCC is introducing an Emerging Leader Award. The idea is to celebrate and encourage early career leadership and service. Like any industry, we need great people for us to succeed, and this recognition helps to reward and encourage them. See below for more information.

NRCC 2018

Courtesy of NRCC 2018

PC&D | For first-time attendees, what are the top three ways in which this show will benefit them?

DR | The first-time attendee will find:

  • The carwash industry is much larger than you might think, but at the same time it is a small community of like-minded carwash professionals.
  • We share many of the same issues, and we can find many of the answers here — at the NRCC.
  • The show floor is a fantastic resource. All of us need carwash-related equipment at one time or another, and this is the place to find it. Big or small, there are more than 300 vendors ready to help you better equip your wash and increase your bottom line.

Related: NRCC 2018 List of Exhibitors 

Networking, education and instilling a positivity in the industry will be in every aspect of the 2018 NRCC event. If you are just starting out or have never attended the show before, you shouldn’t miss it. I hope to see you there. For more info, visit www.nrccshow.com.