AGRR Magazine

Show Time: Now It's NACE

A new era has begun in the auto glass replacement and repair industry-Auto Glass Expo @ NACE.

The responce to anemic attendance at auto glass exhibitions appeared yesterday in the guise of the Auto Glass Pavilion at the collision show, which is held annually in Las Vegas as part of Auto Week.

The first-time exhibition consisted of approximately 30 exhibitors in 60 booth spaces. Some of the AGRR industry exhibitors who were on the trade show floor but not part of the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE section, such as Kerry Wanstrath is vice president and chief operating officer of Glass Technology, Durango, Colo., said that next year they would be part of the AGRR group due to its high visibility.

Two things stand out about Auto Glass Expo @ NACE: Most of the exhibitors are participating at the show for the first time and the enthusiasm by the participants is extremely high. One person said he hadn't seen smiles like this in the AGRR industry in a long time.

Bud Oliver, director of product operations for NAGS, said it was the first time the company had exhibited at the show, although its parent Mitchell International, which supplies information and technology for the collision industry, always does. "When we heard there was going to be a glass pavilion, we said, 'What a great idea.'"

Donovan Trana, AutoglasSolutions, Wilton, Iowa, was also exhibiting for the first time at NACE and he echoed the sentiment that the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE was "a great idea."

Not only was Burco Inc. exhibiting at the NACE show, but it was also the largest exhibition space that the company has ever taken, said Jim Mervenne.

Ray Asbery, Equalizer Industries Inc., looked out over the show floor and said that this was just what the industry needed. "The number of attendees and the excitement is wonderful," he stated.

Chad Kreutz, national director for Glass.Net, Walla Walla, Wash., said he was very satisfied with the number of people who were stopping by his company's booth. "This is really something,"' he stated.

Both Jeff Cothery of Reid Manufacturing and Brent Deines, president of Delta Kits, were enthusiastic about the event and reported having a good show.

While the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE has given the AGRR industry a highly visible profile at NACE, the show is still the largest event for the collision repair industry. However, the two seem to share a growing number of concerns and there is more crossover. Gary Hart, president and CEO of eDirectGlass, reported that he'd talked with a number of collision people and "They think this is great because they're getting more into glass."

Bob Nilsson, AN Design, said it most emphatically, "This is the show to be in. They told us there were 1,000 glass people pre-registered for the show. What was the last time you saw an attendance figure like that? This is the only show I'm going to do other than the table tops with the suppliers and distributors."

The Olympics Heats
And at the other end of the large exhibition hall at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE the Auto Glass Technician Olympics was taking place.

The second annual event got underway Wednesday, and the finals are being held today. Stay tuned to glassBYTEs to find out who this year's Olympics winners are.

No reproduction, in print, electronic or any form without the expressed written permission of
Key Communications Inc. 540-720-5584.