“The largest regional network of carwash owners and operators,” as noted on www.swcarwash.org, is set to gather once again in Arlington, Texas, from Feb. 25-27 at the Arlington Convention Center. Hosted by the Southwest Car Wash Association (SCWA), which is a regional association in the professional carwashing and detailing industries, this year’s convention and expo is buzzing with anticipation, according to its organizers, including Chuck Space.
Space, whose firm has worked with the SCWA for almost three decades, took some time during busy event planning to discuss his role with SCWA 2018, what attendees can look forward to, new additions for this year’s show and much more in this industry-exclusive interview.
PC&D | What is your role in this year’s SCWA event, and can you please provide a brief background of your experience in the carwash industry and/or at SCWA?
CS | My role in the 2018 SCWA Convention & EXPO is to work with the Board of Directors and the Management Team to coordinate an outstanding convention program and provide the welcome, friendly hospitality our attendees deserve. We work hard to make sure our exhibitors, members and attendees leave the convention knowing all of their time spent at the convention paid big dividends.
Space & Associates has managed all programs of SCWA and coordinated events for over 28 years.
PC&D | Each year, this event emphasizes education and industry learning. Why is that such an important component to the event?
CS | Our members and attendees face many challenges during the year in an industry that is rapidly changing. Attendees are looking for guidance and solutions to big questions. What does the current consolidation movement mean to us? How do we deal with market saturation? How will self-driving cars impact our business? How do we prepare for all the new auto technology? Millennials are driving less — what does that mean to all aspects of the automotive industry?
This year, there is no better place than the SCWA Convention & EXPO to find answers. The General Sessions, Ideas Exchanges and the Car Wash Academy are designed to give attendees the chance to learn, exchange ideas and use their time with other successful operators to tackle these tough and critical questions. By taking advantage of all aspects of the Convention & EXPO, attendees will be better operators and better prepared for the future.
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 | The Sunday CEO Forum will discuss many of the changing dynamics I have mentioned so far and how carwash owners and vendors can be better prepared for an ever-changing industry. The CEO Forum will feature long-time carwash professionals Bill Martin, David Begin and Paul Fazio, who will all address these new dynamics. We have already had comments from many people that this is a session they will not miss.
We are also fortunate to welcome Rob O’Neill as our Keynote Speaker on Monday. The Seal Team Six Leader who hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden will talk about his many military missions and how they prepared him for success in today’s business world.
PC&D | What new opportunities can attendees expect at the event this year?
CS | The Board of Directors is especially excited about our lineup of seminars for the Tuesday Car Wash Academy. Expect an expanded, fresh approach to new topics, including the Growing Force of Women in Car Washing, Opportunities Under the New Tax Law, Preparing for an Emergency at Your Car Wash and many other sessions specifically designed to address today’s needs of the owner, manager and carwash employee.
Of course, everyone looks forward to the EXPO on Sunday and Monday. The SCWA EXPO has grown every year with more vendors presenting their equipment, services and supplies. Every year, we see new equipment — and new companies — improved resources and cutting-edge technology that give attendees opportunities to create more successful as well as profitable operations.
This year, SCWA will host over 300 booths. The attendee can expand his or her EXPO experience by attending the Quick Talks Educational Sessions during the EXPO hours. These compact presentations on a variety of important carwash topics are designed to enhance and expand the overall EXPO educational program.
PC&D | For first-time attendees, what are the top three reasons this show will benefit them?
CS | For those who have not had the opportunity to experience the hospitality and education of SCWA, they should join us on Feb. 25-27 for the following three reasons.
Your All Access Pass provides you with two and a half days to experience the education, new ideas and knowledge of successful operators from across the country. This network is not just valuable at the convention, but it also can provide resource support during the year as you work in your community and business.
As the first large carwash EXPO of the year, you will have early access to all the new products and specials in a manageable format. You will have the time and opportunity to visit with the vendors you will work with daily in your business and tailor the new products to your specific needs.
Start your new year off right by gaining insights from nationally recognized speakers, and experience the broad scope of the perspectives they will provide for owners, managers and employees. You and your staff can easily “Experience the SCWA Convention & EXPO” as a team and reap benefits all year long.
To learn more about SCWA, scheduled events for this year as well as updates on SCWA 2018 and 2019, please visit www.swcarwash.org.