“It was one hell of a show,” Jeff McDowell, President of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) says, as he looks back on one of the most successful NORTHEAST™ shows in the association’s 50-year history. “We couldn’t be happier.”
As NORTHEAST™ 2010 show entered its 33rd year (its second at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ), there were still some doubts in AASP-NJ’s mind regarding the future of the show, especially when the weekend produced the nicest weather (historically known to work against trade shows) in six months. “Although all things leading up to the show indicated success, we were still a little leery because of the weather,” McDowell explains. “In the past, when the weather was great, our attendance has been down. When temperatures were predicted to be in the 70s and 80s for that weekend, especially with the wicked weather we have had over the last three months, we were kind of on pins and needles.”
AASP/NJ’s fears proved to be unfounded as attendees flocked through the doors all weekend. “Our attendance was up 30 percent from 2009. We had more vendors and more booths, and an increase in educational and training seminar attendees over last year as well,” said McDowell. “More importantly, our vendors were happy – they have been making sales and contacts on a consistent basis.”
McDowell makes a concentrated effort to walk the show as it winds down every year to get the exhibitors’ input on the present year’s show as well as that of future events. As he explains, the response this year was extremely encouraging. “I was thrilled to hear our vendors’ feedback,” he says. “It was unanimously positive. They were extremely surprised at how busy the floor traffic was on such a beautiful weekend. I have a good feeling they will be back.”
NORTHEAST™ 2011 will take place March 18-20. Among many other highlights, next year’s show will feature the return of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), the national group that presents a forum where collision industry stakeholders come together to discuss issues, build broad understanding, find common ground and communicate to the industry at-large with findings and possible solutions.
“We will continue to build on the momentum that we have gained over the last two years,” McDowell adds. “NORTHEAST™ provides a vital service to automotive service professionals in our region. I think we prove that year after year. We invite everyone to come out and experience it.”
For more information on the NORTHEAST™ Automotive Services Show, please visit www.aaspnjnortheast.com.