By Vic Tarasik, managing partner, Shop Owner Coach
Although we might look back on 2020 as the year to forget about many things, we can always find positives if we look closely enough.
And AAPEX is one of those things to take a look at.
The year 2020 was to be the inaugural year for Repair Shop HQ, a complete level of the Sands Expo dedicated to shop operations and car repairs. This entire world of service was to be anchored by world-class training from industry-leading instructors and Joe’s Garage, a fully equipped, eight-bay shop complete with live vehicles and a source-capture vehicle exhaust extraction system.
With AAPEX going virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, desire has been building to get back to in-person events. In fact, in a recent survey of AAPEX attendees, 90% indicated in-person events are “irreplaceable.” And with just three months until show time, AAPEX in general and Repair Shop HQ are on track to be bigger than 2020 was ever envisioned.
AAPEX has never been more committed to the Service Dealer and to making this their go-to event. As a shop owner for many years, I am keenly aware that nothing replaces seeing an automotive system in action. While the opportunity to get this kind of close-up look at new products and systems hasn’t happened as often since 2019, Joe’s Garage has been designed to fill this vacuum. This complete shop setup, sponsored by Shop Owner, will provide a platform for exhibiting brands to demo their equipment and showcase their latest developments.
You will have the opportunity to get up close to the action and see the products and tools you have been considering in an environment that closely mirrors your own.
You’ll also learn essential information about the additional driver aids on new model year vehicles, such as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) calibration and service. Joe’s Garage will be the place you can see ADAS calibration in action and talk with a variety of manufacturers of leading ADAS equipment. Yes, you’ll see more than one brand of ADAS calibrators in the garage!
Here are the equipment manufacturers and suppliers that you will see in the Joe’s Garage:
- Autel.US Inc.
- BG Products, Inc.
- BOLT ON TECHNOLOGY
- Hunter Engineering Company
- JohnDow Industries
- NAPA Auto Care
And the experience will go far beyond just talking about products. This area within Repair Shop HQ will allow you to:
- Understand how tools can help with shop management and communication;
- Discover digital inspection tools for optimal service;
- Talk capabilities, benefits and utilization in real-time;
- Get complete under-hood to under-vehicle solutions; and
- Receive precise training and ask questions to enhance your competitive advantage.
Like any repair shop, Joe’s Garage also will include exhibits tailored to your front counter staff. Here you will be able to check out the latest:
- Shop management software from Mitchell 1, Shop Boss and Tekmetric;
- Customer relationship management from Broadly, Kukui, Optimize Social Media and Mechanic Advisor;
- Digital inspection software from Bolt On Technology;
- Website design from Auto Shop Solutions and Kukui;
- Integrated and text-to-pay solutions from 360 Payments;
- Certification for automotive professionals from ASE.
In addition, Right to Repair will have a bay in Joe’s Garage with live demos showing how a technician can safely and securely access vehicle data, while Remarkable Results Radio will host live podcasts from the garage.
The knowledge required to service vehicles – today and tomorrow – is expanding at an exponential rate. The standard used to be 40 hours of classes per year, just to stay up to date. The newest standard is now 80 hours per year.
The good news is that AAPEX 2021 has you covered with relevant and timely training sessions. A panel of shop owners vetted and selected topics you can count on to elevate your business. You will find a Training Schedule with 24 of the best instructor-led classes that cover today’s most pressing needs. From technical to management, including topics such as leadership and succession planning, the sessions will arm you with knowledge that you can put to work the moment you return from the show. There aren’t many venues where you will find this caliber of instructor and training classes.
Whether you are a veteran of AAPEX making your return or a newcomer who has never experienced the automotive aftermarket industry’s leading business and networking event, now is the time to be in Las Vegas for AAPEX. Register now!