As the carwashing industry gathers together for the 2017 Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC), which is taking place from Oct. 2-4 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the Atlantic City Convention Center, we caught up with Mike Benmosche, co-chair for this year’s show, to dive deeper into the planning of the show and its theme this year.

Benmosche, CIC, is the national carwash program specialist for McNeil & Co. He has become, over 25 years in business, a nationwide leader in specialized risk management and insurance, specializing in the professional carwashing industry.

In this exclusive Q&A, Benmosche shares his thoughts regarding NRCC’s goals for this year’s show and how attendees can maximize their time while visiting the Atlantic City Convention Center and NRCC 2017.

PC&D: What is your role in this year’s event, and who are the key organizers this year?

MB: Each year, the show is hosted in rotation by one of the five Northeast Associations: New York State Car Wash Association (NYSCWA), Connecticut Carwash Association (CCA), Mid-Atlantic Carwash Association, Car Wash Operators of New Jersey (CWONJ) and New England Carwash Association (NECA). This year for NRCC 2017, the responsibility falls to the CCA. Bob Rossini, the current president, and I, as a board member of this association, have accepted the role of co-chairing the event.

The NRCC continues to be governed by 15 members consisting of officers and board members from each participating association. From our modest beginning 28 years ago, we have evolved from hosting 500 or so attendees to our most recent count of just under 2,000. The success of the show is the direct result of the collaboration of these great organizations and the volunteers that represent them.

The main role of the chairman is to oversee the planning along with our management company. I believe the main focus is to ensure that we implement the strategy developed by our team to continue to offer the most effective education programs and exhibits possible.

PC&D: The theme of this year’s convention is “Reinventing The Wheel.” What are the primary goals and objectives of NRCC 2017, and in what specific ways will you fulfill this theme?

MB: Our theme centers around the idea that, as an industry, we cannot rely on what has worked in the past. The vast improvements in technology relating to equipment as well as the cars we wash compel us to take what we know and adjust accordingly.

The objectives of the NRCC this year are to focus on education and exhibitors that will assist the operators in learning what tools they need to possess in order to survive in this new world. In order to meet this obligation, we have added two new sessions to our venue this year: the carwash virtual tour as well as “inside looks.” The purpose of the “Inside Looks” program is designed to offer vendors that have signed up for this option the opportunity to share what makes their companies different.

PC&D: What are some of the planned seminars or presentations of this year’s event that you are most looking forward to? Why?

MB: Specifically, the two newest additions to our lineup are what I am most looking forward to. Getting the opportunity to view some of the latest and most innovative carwashes through the carwash virtual tour along with the chance to hear from their owners while comfortably sitting at the show is very exciting — not to mention how time-effective this methodology will be for the participants.

The “inside look” feature we are offering the vendors involved will afford those attendees a forum to learn some of the backroom information in a special setting. I am expecting them to cover highlights of the products and their development so that we can truly learn why they believe they can help operators improve their bottom lines — a true behind-the-scenes revelation.

PC&D: For first-time attendees, what are the top three reasons this show will benefit them?

MB: One benefit a first-time attendee will receive is the networking among operators as well as vendors and the collective knowledge they will share. I have often heard first-time buyers remark on how effective hearing the inside story firsthand has saved them significant heartache and money. There is no better learning tool, in my opinion, than hearing it from someone who has actually experienced the struggles and challenges that new prospects face when coming into the industry.

A second reason first-time attendees should come is that, with over 300 expected exhibitors, they will never have a better opportunity to see and feel what they might ultimately be purchasing to start their new wash in one single setting.

The third reason is that the roundtable topics will have several very important discussions that will be invaluable to helping first-time attendees make the best possible decisions as they take their next steps to operating a wash.