The 2013 Car Wash Show is right around the corner. Taking place once again at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas from April 22-24, this year’s show has a lot of new offerings and opportunities. To find out more about the surprises and inside scoop, I talked to Eric Wulf, the CEO of the International Carwash Association®.
Debra Gorgos: How is this year’s show different from last year’s?
Eric Wulf: The biggest change people will see is with our speaker sessions. For the last three years, attendance has steadily grown for these programs and in 2012 we were standing room only! So, if you go to TheCarWashShow.com, you're going to find a list of new speakers and topics that you're simply not going to find anywhere else.
We’re also very excited to have Magic Johnson as our keynote speaker. We all know that Magic is an amazing athlete, but his story of successfully building business will be very interesting to our audience. Finally, we're offering some new value this year: Our attendees can visit the NAMA OneShow in the exhibit hall next to ours on Wednesday, April 24, for a nominal $25 fee. This is the country's largest automated vending show, with products and services that will be interesting to many of our operators and suppliers.
Debra Gorgos: Can you tell us more about how and why Magic Johnson was chosen to be the keynote speaker?
Eric Wulf: I probably don't have to tell you about Magic Johnson the athlete. He's been a champion at every level: High school, college, NBA and the Olympics. But, the real reason we selected Magic is because he is a true student of business and a dynamic leader. From his theatre chain to his Starbucks portfolio to his recent ownership stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers, Magic will be sharing stories and lessons from one of the world's great entrepreneurs.
Debra Gorgos: What advice do you have for first-time attendees?
Eric Wulf: Well, I'd start with: Join the world's largest carwash organization! Members (operators, distributors and manufacturers) get two complimentary trade show passes and our best prices for sessions and the keynote. Plus, you'll also get exclusive access to WaterSavers, Wash Count and other ICA products. After that, I'd make sure to attend the education sessions. The trade show will have every product and service you need to be successful – but there is nothing more important than investing in your own knowledge base first!
Debra Gorgos: What are some of the education sessions you think people should try and attend?
Eric Wulf: That’s a tough question. There are going to be nearly 20 sessions to choose from and you can’t attend them all, so it’s good to start thinking about this now. Personally, I plan to be in the audience for “Building Your Brand”, “Coloring Outside the Lines!™ Creating a New Customer Experience” and “Eight Great Traits of Superstar Managers, Owners and Franchisees”. That being said, we only selected this year’s lineup because they are all going to be excellent!