ATLANTIC CITY — Despite COVID protocol, the Delta Variant and vendor downsizing due to staffing issues and illness, the 31st Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC), which took place Oct. 4-6 at the Atlantic City Convention Center, broke its 2019 attendee record, according to show Chairman David DuGoff with the Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association, this year’s host, as noted in a press release.
“Carwashers are just the best people in the world,” said DuGoff. “It is in our DNA to want to share with others. We learn so much from each other, and that is why we want so much to be together again. And, that is what we saw at the 31st NRCC — record-breaking operator attendance.”
In addition to impressive attendance — 998, excluding vendors — the NRCC board elevated its educational lineup and secured high-profile presenter, former Governor Chris Christie, as its keynote speaker.
“Governor Christie, a native of New Jersey, is candid and entertaining. Whether you like his politics or not, he provided us with a caliber of speaker we have not had in the past,” said Suzanne Stansbury, NRCC board member and education track coordinator. “We were thrilled to have him at our event.”
The NRCC was able to secure this level of speaker thanks to a generous co-sponsorship from innovateIt and Micrologic Associates.
“I thought Governor Christie’s comments were both insightful and inspiring for small business owners,” said innovateIt President Ron Slone.
Miguel Gonzalez, Micrologic president and CEO, added, “Governor Christie was a fantastic choice. For me, personally, it was a career highlight. His authenticity and energy resonated with the audience. My thanks to the NRCC for making this possible.”
In addition to the keynote, the education track included an unscripted Early Bird panel discussion on any and all topics relating to carwashing, a program on turning a difficult customer into a customer for life and a lively, candid discussion with some industry “titans” on consolidation, transformation and the industry’s bright future.
That seminar included Sonny’s Paul Fazio, Simoniz USA’s Bill Gorra, Hoffman Car Wash’s Tom Hoffman Jr., Amplify Car Wash Advisor’s Bill Martin and International Carwash Association’s Eric Wulf.
Unfortunately, due to illness, Big Ass Fans founder Carey Smith was unable to attend; however, he will be on the 2022 education track.
Another change to the 2021 show was the expansion of the Welcome Reception sponsored by Innovative Control Systems (ICS).
“We really wanted to make it all-inclusive and a true networking event, so we opened it up to every single attendee, no matter if they just came to walk the floor or purchased a full convention pass,” said Stansbury. “It turned out to be a perfect ending to the first day of the trade show, featuring Jersey snacks and beverages.”
The NRCC board also opted to change hotel venues and move back to the iconic Atlantic City boardwalk and call the newly-renovated Hard Rock Hotel & Casino home for the next several years.
The 32nd NRCC is slated for Sept. 19-21, 2022.
For attendee and exhibitor registration information, visit www.nrccshow.com, email [email protected] or call (800) 868-8590.
The 2022 show will be hosted by the New England Carwash Association with Dave Ellard and John Shalbey Jr. as co-chairmen.
“We have some terrific additions to our educational lineup on tap for the 2022 NRCC,” said Shalbey Jr. “We always strive to push the bar a little higher with each show.”