In early March, the International Carwash Association sent out an e-mail blast, posing the question: “Do you want to take your business to the next level?” Having asked, the e-mail also answered — correctly, one would think — on your behalf: “Of course you do!” So, how do you give your business a leg up? By attending The Car Wash Show, April 22-24 in Las Vegas, of course.
The association suggests four reasons for attending the show, which work individually and in concert to positively impact your car care enterprise:
First, discover diverse and innovative products (this is a tradeshow, after all). Many equipment/product manufacturers time the introduction of new items to coincide with a major tradeshow — and this is the largest one in the industry. You’ll be among the first to see these new products, to assess their value, and to engage in discourse with those who actually produce them. There is simply no other event that offers the opportunity to visit with so many vendors in one location.
With so much to see and dissect, you’ll need to set objectives and plan ahead. Day one: walk the tradeshow floor to get the lay of the land. Day two: select the must-see exhibitors from the exhibitor list and plan on visiting their booths in time- and energy-saving directional order. Don’t limit yourself to the selected exhibitors, however. The exciting thing about a tradeshow is that you can encounter ideas and concepts that might never have occurred to you. Day three (usually the least hectic): finish up with booths you may have missed or those intentionally skipped.
Second, learn the latest from the best. As with products and equipment, business-management concepts, marketing opportunities, and operating techniques are constantly evolving. The Car Wash Show offers more than 20 hours of education covering these and other aspects of running your business. The sessions are scheduled to not overlap tradeshow exhibiting hours, leaving your time with vendors unaffected.
However, of necessity, several seminars — as many as five in one case — are scheduled at the same time, making it impossible for one individual to attend every session. If you are accompanied by a colleague, a manager, or other employee, split up and attend as many same-time seminars as your entourage allows. Take notes, which you can share with one another afterwards. Notes will also allow you to pass along what you have learned to those who stayed behind to take care of the business.
Third, participate in networking opportunities. Operators learn from one another. There are ample opportunities at the show to exchange experiences and insights with peers, whether at a reception, on the tradeshow floor, or in the corridors between seminars. It may be tempting to move only in familiar circles, but be adventurous and introduce yourself to strangers. You never know who may have the answers you’ve been searching for.
Fourth, appreciate the value, the entertainment, and the chance to recharge. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. You will certainly have some fun at the show, and a bigger and more diverse playground than Las Vegas will be hard to find. So, kick back, if even for just a few hours, and enjoy the sights and activities offered by this destination city.