The Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA) will deliver another robust event in Arlington, Texas, this year. The Annual Convention & EXPO will be held at the Arlington Convention Center from Feb. 24-26. In this special interview, Professional Carwashing & Detailing (PC&D) catches up with Executive Director Chuck Space.
PC&D | Please provide some background on the SCWA and any details about the early days of the annual event.
CS | The SCWA was organized as a regional association in 1985 combining several local carwash groups. The first convention had about 35 attendees. The event has grown from its small 1985 beginnings to the 2018 Convention & EXPO hosting over 300 booths and 2,000 attendees.
PC&D | Over the past several years, this annual regional event has been held in Arlington, Texas. Can you tell us a little about the location choice and why Arlington is an ideal site for the event?
CS | Arlington has been a good partner for SCWA over the last 15 years, giving us the opportunity to grow in a financially responsible manner. Also, Arlington’s geographic location offers very easy access for attendees. However, with that said, SCWA is at a point where we have outgrown the Arlington Convention Center. During the 2019 convention, we will have an exciting announcement about a new location for 2020.
PC&D | What were last year’s key attendance and seminar participation metrics, and what are your expectations for SCWA 2019?
CS | The 2018 SCWA Convention & EXPO was very successful with an attendance of approximately 2,000 people. Even more interesting, our attendance (non-exhibitors) came from 32 different states and three foreign countries. Our educational sessions’ attendance increased about 8 percent.
The 2019 event promises to be another successful year, and we are hoping to top all previous attendee numbers. Our EXPO booth numbers have increased about 12 percent for 2019, and our first attendee registration for this year was from Dubai.
PC&D | What are some of the planned seminars or presentations of this year’s event that you are most looking forward to? Why?
CS | We are excited to announce Dana Perino, FOX News anchor, as our keynote speaker. Dana has already created a lot of excitement for the 2019 event. Be prepared to hear up-to-the-minute political analysis as only Dana can deliver.
The CEO Forum will feature Michael Dominguez, who is an executive with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas. Dominguez will highlight business trends and predictions for 2019 along with ideas on building new and different customer experiences.
We are continuing to expand our Tuesday Car Wash Academy education sessions and offer fresh topics of interest to the broad range of attendees.
A new session will feature Virtual Car Wash Tours of Wiggy Wash in Salt Lake City and Camel Express in Nashville, Tennessee. We will also continue successful programs like our Women in Car Washing with a new session: Women in the Industry — Fostering a Diverse Workforce. The attendee can expand his or her educational experience with the popular Round Table Discussions on Monday and the Quick Talks in the EXPO area.
PC&D | What new technology solutions or opportunities can attendees expect at the event this year?
CS | Every year brings new and improved technology to the carwash owner. I have heard several exhibiting companies plan on introducing their new products and technologies at our SCWA expo. As the first large carwash expo of the year, attendees will have access to all the new products and exhibitor specials in a manageable format.
The SCWA expo offers the time and opportunity to visit with the vendors you work with daily in your business and tailor products to your specific needs.
We invite you to start your new year off right by joining SCWA in Arlington, Texas, from Feb. 24-26. Gain insights from nationally recognized speakers, and experience the broad perspectives each speaker, educational session and the EXPO will provide for owners, managers and employees. You and your employees can easily experience the SCWA Convention & EXPO as a team and reap the benefits all year long.