The Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA) is excited to welcome carwash professionals back to the first industry trade show since its last event in January 2020.
The annual SCWA Convention & EXPO will once again be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center (FWCC) in Fort Worth, Texas. During the three-day event from June 9-11, attendees can speak directly with hundreds of manufacturers, suppliers and other exhibitors both on and off the show floor.
With two exposition days and numerous educational and networking events planned, attendees will have plenty of opportunities to advance their industry knowledge as well as strengthen new and existing relationships.
In this industry-exclusive interview, we speak with SCWA Executive Director Chuck Space for a preview of the 2021 SCWA Convention & EXPO.
PC&D | Please tell us about the plans for the 2021 SCWA Convention & EXPO. What can attendees expect to see and hear this year?
SPACE | Attendees can expect another first-class SCWA Convention & EXPO this year. SCWA 2021 will be the first large carwash show since our last event in January 2020 — more than one year ago. We are hearing from exhibitors and attendees about how excited everyone is to be able to get together again in a safe and comfortable environment.
We will have a stellar education program, along with the largest SCWA EXPO to date. The EXPO will include more than 350 exhibit booths (80,000 square feet) with the latest in carwash equipment, supplies and services. The always-popular Quick Talks on the EXPO floor will be taking place every hour. The General Sessions will again feature nationally recognized speakers, led by Steve Forbes.
Forbes, who is CEO of the Forbes Media empire, will offer insights on where we will be going from an economic and business perspective. Michael Dominguez, CEO of ALHI, will be keynoting the CEO Forum and will discuss ideas to help carwash owners and vendors understand how to provide amazing service in the new landscape we are all facing. Back this year is Friday’s Closing Session Panel. This year’s discussion: “How to Manage the Changing Car Wash Industry Landscape.”
Bottom line: SCWA 2021 should be a great opportunity to reconnect and move forward together.
PC&D | As a result of COVID-19, what changes are you making to the show in regards to safety?
SPACE | SCWA has always worked hard to make sure our events are safe, comfortable, fun and profitable. We believe 2021 will be no different — everyone can attend with confidence. We will be observing all the appropriate protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The Fort Worth Convention Center is one of the few large event centers to receive the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) designation. The GBAC accreditation is the gold standard of prepared facilities. The FWCC has already held several events that are as large as — if not larger than — the SCWA event. Therefore, they have the experience and are prepared to handle our event safely.
With that said, we do believe the safety of the SCWA Convention & EXPO is a shared responsibility. Everyone should be prepared to attend and practice all the protocols we have in place, including mask wearing, hand sanitizing and respectful social distancing.
PC&D | The show keeps getting better and better every year. How will the SCWA 2021 EXPO top the 2020 event?
SPACE | SCWA leadership believes that our responsibility to our members and attendees is to provide an environment that brings relevant information, education and quality speakers. The EXPO highlights the best and most successful carwash, lube and detail companies in the industry for our attendees to visit.
As long as we continue to fulfill our mission and responsibility, the SCWA Convention & EXPO will grow, and the attendees and exhibitors will find value in participating. The goal is to offer meaningful “takeaways” for carwash owners and managers of all experience levels and models. Our board of directors is invested in providing the Southwest hospitality, where everyone is important and deserves the best of the “SCWA EXPERIENCE.” This outstanding leadership from our board is how we continue to grow every year.
PC&D | What are your region’s leading issues for operators, and how are the current and upcoming boards addressing these issues?
SPACE | Since SCWA has carwash members representing 32 states and Convention/EXPO attendees from 40 states, we cross over from just a regional perspective to much wider issues that impact carwash owners wherever they operate a business. One example is SCWA’s efforts to communicate the essential business nature of the carwash industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We were working with carwash owners in a broad cross section of the U.S. One result of this past year is the new SCWA initiative to create a broader positive image for the carwash community. This effort is the SCWA Car Wash Advocacy Program, which you will hear more about during the SCWA Convention.
We want public officials to have a better understanding of the carwash industry’s importance to our communities as well as the tremendous market advancements in the technical and mechanical operations of the carwash. As to more specific topics, our board conducts an annual member survey, and the responses help us identify issues that we will address through the convention’s education program or through other platforms, such as regular webinars, ADVANTAGE magazine, the weekly SCWA TODAY email blast or the regular SCWA Legislative Updates.
PC&D | Last year, a group of attendees was treated to a rodeo. What special networking programs do you have planned for this year, and how do attendees benefit from participating in these gatherings off the show floor?
SPACE | This year, attendees with All Access passes or who have purchased specific tickets will enjoy an evening at the famous Billy Bob’s Texas in the Fort Worth Stockyards. Billy Bob’s Texas is the world’s largest honky-tonk.
This place is huge (3 acres), with its own indoor rodeo arena for professional bull riding, a Texas-sized dance floor, dozens of bar stations, restaurants, arcade games, a Wall of Fame with celebrity handprints and a general store. It is also an amazing 10-time winner of country music’s “Club of the Year.”
In addition, the SCWA event always has many opportunities — whether on the EXPO floor or just between education sessions — for personal time to network with other carwash operators and vendors. Some say the networking is the best part of the time together.
Come prepared to learn together, network and have a great experience — all within both a safe and comfortable event environment.
Check out this follow-up interview with Chuck Space for more information about the 2021 SCWA Convention & EXPO.