The inaugural Splash! event took place October 25 and 26 at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Jointly presented by the International Carwash Association and the Western Carwash Association, this get-together of car washers drew an attendance of more than 700.
Splash! was billed as an unconventional event – an un-tradeshow. It was, though there were some familiar features associated with smaller tradeshows: one hotel ballroom; many exhibitor booths; cash bar in one corner, another across the room; finger-food catering as evening neared.
There was plenty, however, that made Splash! different. First, all 50-odd exhibitor booths looked the same — both in size and appearance, with the exception of individual company logos and messages. All booths were freestanding and seemingly randomly placed — no rows, no aisles. For the most part, there were few equipment pieces on display.
An abundance of education was on offer: three unique presentations every hour at 15-minute intervals split consecutively among three stages set up against three of the four ballroom walls.
This arrangement cleverly required attendees to meander through the exhibitors’ space every time they switched “classrooms.” Attendees clearly came looking for information. The presentations were well attended — all available seating was occupied for every session with many attendees standing.
As a networking event, Splash! scored well. Exhibitors were generally happy with the turnout, expressing appreciation for the opportunity to spend quality time with attendees, something not always possible in the sometimes hurried atmosphere of The Car Wash Show.
The organizers, too, were satisfied. Though the date and location of the next Splash! is yet to be determined, Eric Wulf, CEO of the ICA, raised the possibility of Splash! being taken “east of the Mississippi” in years when The Car Wash Show sets up shop in Las Vegas.
|Coleman Hanna Carwash Systems.|
|National Carwash Solutions.||DRB Systems.|
|Diamond Shine Inc.|