AAPEX: Beyond Technology and Training

Monday, August 26, 2019

By Liz Goad, CMP, DES, director, Events & Meetings, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA)

The automotive aftermarket industry is advancing at an incredible rate. We are adopting new technologies, discussing ways to recruit, retain and train employees on new systems, testing advanced safety features, and even partnering with technology companies to advance our businesses. At the heart of all these advances, we are focused on meeting the needs of our customers, now and in the future.

AAPEX also is innovating and providing solutions to its customers. From hosting training sessions in Mobility Garage, to featuring future technologies in Technology of Tomorrow, and even providing technology education sessions with Let’s Tech, AAPEX is committed to keeping its customers ahead of the curve.

But the heart and soul of AAPEX continues to be the exhibitors and their products. Representing 1,295 product categories, more than 2,500 exhibitors partner with AAPEX to bring attendees the best AAPEX experience possible. When designing the AAPEX attendee experience, exhibitors focus on the needs of the industry to include the future of mobility, recycling, evolving technologies and repair, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), digital inspections, and integrated management systems. At the end of the day, AAPEX exhibitors want to help their customers succeed.

I had the privilege of sitting down with several AAPEX exhibiting manufacturers from the AASA AAPEX Event Committee (AAEC) to discuss some of the innovations and emerging technologies they are bringing to attendees at AAPEX 2019. In addition to ZF Aftermarket and Disti
bringing thought leadership to Let’s Tech with “The New World of Braking with ADAS Systems” and “The Use of VR and AR Technology to Improve Field Services,” exhibitors are bringing their collective A-game by announcing hundreds of new products during press conferences and within the AAPEX New Product Showcase. It is sure to be exciting.

Bringing hands-on training and demonstrations to their booths as well as to the Mobility Garage, companies like Clarios and ZF Aftermarket are hosting interactive demonstrations and training on Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery technology and High-Voltage systems. Other exhibitors like Trico, Delphi, and AutoShop Solutions are providing tech tips and market information, as well as teaching attendees about new products and digital marketing solutions using interactive displays, touch screens and virtual reality. And Mitchell 1 and the AASA Know Your Parts (KYP) Booth are focusing on technician training, with Mitchell 1 teaching them how to diagnose and fix cars faster and KYP demonstrating how to access technical hotlines and resources that will help them identify solutions to common challenges within each product category.

The training, education, and new products at AAPEX are an essential part of the show and a great value for attendees. But there is no doubt that some of the most memorable AAPEX moments can be found during the networking events and receptions. There are many of these events hosted by AAPEX and the Associations, including the AAPEX reception on Monday, Nov. 4, and the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC) Global Reception on Tuesday, Nov. 5. Exhibitors also host events at some of the best and most unique venues in Las Vegas.

And a lot of the networking fun is happening right on the show floor, with booths featuring receptions, anniversary celebrations, celebrities, games, and contests. Akebono is giving away more than $2,500 in prizes to celebrate a new product announcement, and the Know Your Parts Booth is challenging technicians to learn installation and diagnostics for new products and technologies with a grand prize winner taking home a ‘toolbox’ of items valued at up to $5,000. Attendees also can virtually install parts on a vehicle to compete daily for free AAPEX 2020 registration and up to four hotel nights in Las Vegas at the AAPEX Virtual Vehicle Challenge.

In short, the industry is changing and with that comes new opportunities. AAPEX is the best place to learn about and take advantage of these opportunities. AAPEX exhibitors are providing attendees the necessary tools to take the next steps in driving their business forward . . . and have some fun along the way.

Ted Hughes with MAHLE said it best: “AAPEX is the focal point, the epicenter of the independent aftermarket for one week out of every year. Every influencer and decision-maker in the industry is there and has to be there in terms of staying in tune with industry trends, technology, and developments.”

Don’t let opportunity pass you by, register for AAPEX today.