LAS VEGAS – Last year, the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance announced it was bringing its national convention to Las Vegas to run concurrently with the AAPEX and SEMA shows in 2015. In anticipation of that event, the Alliance last week conducted a trial walkthrough of the program at this year’s AAPEX and SEMA shows.
“The opportunity for our customers to interact with our supplier channel partners at these two shows is a powerful opportunity for both of them,” said John Washbish, president and CEO of the Alliance. “Even with a crew like ours, it’s a daunting task to bring 3,000 techs to the shows in 2015. We feel that we have a great plan, but it occurred to us that a trial run with a small group would be prudent.”
To that end, the Alliance hosted owners and technicians from 30 shops around the country on Thursday at AAPEX and Friday at SEMA. The idea was to test and refine the process to optimize the number of visits and maximize the information exchange.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to learn directly from the source,” said Lee Ostendorf, owner of Tiremaxx Service Centers in Alexandria, Minn. Attending the walkthrough with his son and partner Tyler, Ostendorf went on to say, “And it’s really incredible how eager manufacturers are to hear about our experiences with their products. It really closes the loop for both of us.”
The Alliance’s 2015 convention, dubbed “Aftermarket Jackpot,” will be held at the Mirage Hotel & Resort, Nov. 4-7, 2015. The Alliance is planning to have more than 3,000 jobbers and installers in attendance who will attend both AAPEX and SEMA in addition to a variety of events hosted by the group.