In the professional carwashing and detailing major trade show circuit, March and April this year are transition months for exhibitors, such as Professional Carwashing & Detailing magazine. At the time of writing this column, we’re fresh off the Southwest Car Wash Association’s (SCWA) 2019 Convention & EXPO, and we’re also gearing up for what should be another great industry event — The Car Wash Show™ 2019, hosted by our industry’s leading association, the International Carwash Association (ICA).

A full recap of the SCWA 2019 event is included with photos starting on page 80 of the April issue. While the SCWA planners were able to successfully achieve another “wow” factor event this year, the attendees also added an important element and, in many ways, they are what make these regional and national carwash shows special.

In other industries that I have covered in my 19-year career as a business-to-business editor and writer, the vast majority of trade show attendees use the “break” time in between expo hours and educational sessions to unwind, check email, make phone calls, etc.; however, carwash professionals use these opportunities to connect and share ideas. 

Sitting in the hotel lobby after the Keynote Address at the SCWA event, prior to the expo opening, I witnessed once again the natural occurrence of operators pairing up or gathering in groups without egos, agendas or anything in mind other than helping each other out. That, to me, is where the magic happens — and these moments occur throughout all carwash events. 

This industry is truly blessed with wonderful individuals who are passionate about carwashing and advancing the professionalism of this entire industry. 

Look for these groups and pairs to gather once again throughout The Car Wash Show 2019. Operators sharing their experiences and offering tips in the hallways to other operators who are trying to overcome a business or carwash challenge will not be found on the Schedule of Events. You have to be present, open-minded and inspired enough to want to improve your business. The networking will happen organically as trade show organizers create an agenda and environment to encourage this activity. 

We’ll see you in Nashville next month. Until then, start preparing your questions for other operators.