The Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA) is primed to offer another exciting and educational event for attendees in Fort Worth, Texas. This year, the annual Convention & EXPO will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center from Jan. 29-31.
In this special interview, Professional Carwashing & Detailing (PC&D) speaks with Executive Director Chuck Space.
PC&D | Why was it necessary to move the location of the SCWA Convention & EXPO, and why was Fort Worth chosen as the location for the 2020 show?
Space | The SCWA Convention & Car Wash EXPO simply outgrew the Arlington Convention Center & Sheraton Hotel. We were putting the exhibits in two separate areas, and we were overflowing in the General Sessions and workshop areas. The move to Fort Worth will provide a much larger EXPO area, where all the exhibitors will be together and we are also able to expand the number of booth spaces available. The move will provide our exhibitors and attendees a larger, more comfortable venue with the room to grow even more.
Fort Worth was selected over several other options for the central location and the close/convenient access to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport; plus, the surrounding area of the convention center and hotels provides a walkable access opportunity for restaurants and entertainment.
PC&D | What new opportunities or conveniences do the Fort Worth Convention Center and surrounding environs offer compared to Arlington?
Space | We will have the same Southwest hospitality — that will not change. However, Fort Worth offers many new and exciting opportunities to enjoy the social networking part of the SCWA event. We will be holding the convention during the famous Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. This event has been held in Fort Worth for over 100 years.
The SCWA Thursday Party will take attendees who have purchased tickets or have All Access badges to the rodeo. This year is the first time the annual rodeo will be held in the new Dickies Arena. So, that alone is exciting.
In addition, there is the well-known Sundance Square filled with five-star restaurants and pubs and entertainment. You can enjoy the original Del Frisco, Billy Bobs and world-class museums. There will truly be something for every attendee.
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PC&D | In terms of the actual convention and expo, are there any changes our readers need to be made aware of that are new for this year?
Space | Absolutely. Except for the traditional hospitality and family environment, it will all be new. As we mentioned, it is a new location: Fort Worth; we will be holding the event one month earlier than the usual date, on Jan. 29-31; and we have a new day pattern for 2020: Wednesday through Friday noon.
This EXPO will host a larger number of booths and expanded equipment for attendees to enjoy. Our premier education program and speakers have elevated the event to the next level with Vice President Dick Cheney and Chick-fil-A’s Arthur Greeno.
We will also introduce this year a new feature on Friday. We have added a new General Session — a panel discussion moderated by Professional Carwashing & Detailing’s Rich DiPaolo, “Winds of Change.” The panel of outstanding carwashers will examine many of the important changes currently going on in the industry and what to expect in the coming years.
PC&D | Which session(s) are you most looking forward to and why?
Space | That is a difficult question, because we have so many different and unique sessions. I know many are really looking forward to the CEO Forum on Wednesday with Arthur Greeno, and we have had a great response to our keynote speaker, Vice President Dick Cheney. I think the new Friday General Session will offer new and critical perspectives for carwash owners and vendors alike. We want to make sure we are staying relevant for the industry and providing the information and resources members and attendees need to be successful.
PC&D | How has this show been able to grow its attendance in recent years, and are you expecting another big turnout this year?
Space | Yes, we are expecting another great turnout in our new venue. I think the EXPO and Convention has grown for several reasons. First, the carwash industry itself is growing, and more experienced business owners are becoming involved.
I also think our board of directors has worked hard over the years to make sure we offer the best speakers, outstanding education/workshops and relevant helpful resources for attendees, and, of course, our leadership has created an environment that is comfortable and welcoming. Our board members truly believe in the Southwest hospitality, where everyone is important in the total SCWA EXPERIENCE. It has always been the mission of SCWA to provide the very best yet be cost-effective for our attendees and our exhibitors.
PC&D | Do you have anything else to add that our readers should know about SCWA 2020?
Space | As a football coach once said, “Come early, stay late and enjoy all the game.” The SCWA EXPERIENCE provides something for all models and all experience levels. Whether you have been in the carwash business for one year or 30 years, or you are just thinking about entering the business, I promise you will have at least one important “takeaway” that will make your business more efficient and successful.
If you do not attend all three days, you will be missing out on so many opportunities to start your new year in a positive and exciting way. Visit www.swcarwash.org and register today.
Chuck Space has more to say. Check out the podcast below for even more behind-the-scenes coverage of the 2020 SCWA Convention & EXPO.