ST. LOUIS, Mo. Centric Parts’ Brian Griffin, chairman of the National Catalog Managers Association (NCMA), welcomed attendees to the 40th annual NCMA Knowledge Conference taking place April 21-23 at the St. Louis Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis, Mo.
This year’s event set a new attendance record with 320 registered attendees and exhibitors. It also marked a new milestone for the group, with a record number of first-time participants in attendance. The event kicked off on Saturday, April 20, with a welcome reception at the Ballpark, Busch Stadium situated just across the street from the host hotel.
Noting the convivial networking that is fostered via NCMA, Griffin noted, "NCMA is not an island, rather it is a specialized community within a larger organization, a segment of the industry with a common profession: content management." Indeed, NCMA members and fellow catalog managers could be seen networking at every open opportunity throughout the event, a room full of old friends welcoming new attendees into the fold.
On Sunday, the day was packed with informative yet entertaining presentations from dynamic speakers including AAIA Chief Information Officer Scott Luckett, speaking on "The State of the Standards;” Marian Maasshoff of MOTOR Information Systems, discussing "Behind the Vehicle Database;" and Jim Grubbs of WHI Solutions, presenting "From Good to Great Content." The day also included an end-user panel discussion with parts store managers from O’Reilly, CARQUEST, Advance Auto Parts and NAPA, and technical breakout training sessions.
Sunday evening concluded with the festive President’s Dinner celebration, which included music, great food and panoramic views of the system, as well as Riverboat-style gambling, with all proceeds benefiting the Aftermarket Foundation.
Attendees of this year’s conference qualify for Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from the University of the Aftermarket to be applied toward their Automotive Catalog Professional (ACP) designation.
Stay tuned for more coverage of this year’s NCMA Knowledge Conference later this week, including the complete list of this year’s award winners for catalog excellence.