Exhibitors and attendees from across the USA turned out in large numbers for this year’s NORTHEAST 2006 Trade Show, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ)’s annual flagship event. The event was held March 24, 25 and 26 at the Rockland Community College Arena in Suffern, NY.
Thousands of automotive repair professionals flocked to this year’s show, which featured close to 150 exhibitors spread across the huge arena floor along with two dozen seminars covering everything from Hybrid repair to stress management.
“I must say we were pleasantly surprised with NORTHEAST 2006,” says AASP/NJ President Tom Elder. “With the industry in a down cycle and many other trade shows having a difficult time getting people to come out, we were pleased to see that not only did we match last year’s attendance numbers, but we topped them. I think that says a lot about how people feel about NORTHEAST. It has truly become a must-see event for repairers every year and we couldn’t be more proud.”
Exhibitors were also thrilled with the show. “This year’s show was one of
the best we’ve attended in recent years,” says Metropolitan CAR-O-LINER’s Dave Demarest, Jr. “CAR-O-LINER has been a part of NORTHEAST since the beginning, and we are always pleased with the results we get as a show exhibitor. We’ve also gotten a lot of positive feedback from attendees who used our shuttle bus service this year – over 170 people utilized it over the three-day period. We’re very satisfied with our showing this year, and look forward to next year’s show.” Bert Schwartz of Rotary Lift added, “We were able to pick up a good number of contacts and potential buyers. It was a very positive experience. You’ll see us at NORTHEAST next year.”
The show celebrated its 29th year with a Saturday Night Comic Relief dinner where AASP/NJ gave out their annual awards. Honorees included Bigelow Auto Body (Stan Wilson/New Jersey Automotive Body Shop of the Year), Sea Breeze Auto Center (New Jersey Automotive Mechanical Shop of the Year), Bob Everett (Past President), Mike Kartanowicz (Russ Robson Scholarship) and Nick Kostakis, who was inducted into the AASP/NJ Hall of Fame.
Attendees were able to see the latest technology available at the exhibitor booths. “We try to stay on the cutting edge by encouraging our exhibitors to showcase new products,” Elder adds. “That’s one of the biggest reasons people continue to turn out year after year.”
As AASP/NJ prepares for the show’s 30th anniversary in 2007, Elder says the association is already excited about continuing the show’s success. “We must be doing something right,” he says with a laugh. “Not many shows have been around as long as NORTHEAST and if this year is any indication, it will be here for quite some time to come.”