Midwest Meeting: First-Ever Midwest Collision Repair Trade Show & Conference A Success, Organizers Say

Overland Park, Kansas — The first-ever collision repair trade show and conference in the Midwest was a success, according to show organizers.

Held April 1-2 in Kansas, the expected number of attendees hit and then some, according to body associations in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and South Dakota, all of which joined their forces to host the event. J

“The actual attendance was almost triple what we had set as a goal for an inaugural event,” said Gina Cotton, event coordinator and executive director of the Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas associations. “We were delighted with the turnout and the feedback we received from exhibitors was also very good. We sincerely thank everyone involved, including our event sponsors.

“I was impressed with this whole show,” said exhibitor Tom Day, treasurer of Key Choice Collision Centers. “There were a lot of quality suppliers and attendees. Attendees were looking for industry information and this show was really
delivered. We are already looking forward to next year.”

“The training sessions were also a great success,” added Janet Chaney, co-coordinator of the event and executive director of the Iowa Collision Repair Association. “Each class session was almost full and extra chairs had
to bring in for some of the sessions. The presenters worked hard to create valuable workshops and participants expressed great satisfaction with the material presented.

Mike Anderson, the founder of CollisionAdvice, was the keynote speaker at the Saturday April 2 luncheon. In his state of the industry address, Mike told the 300 people in attendance that his theme for 2022 is “Grow your team,
Grow your business and change the way you compete.”

He pointed out that most stores leave “a lot of money on the table” when writing estimates. He shared strategies for resolving this issue, sources of procedural documents as well as the average repair order per state.

Anderson also focused on workforce development. He said our industry will need 80,000 technicians by 2024, but the demand significantly outstrips the steadily dwindling supply of post-secondary collision technicians. He showcased a pilot automotive collision engineering program that is powered through a joint venture between the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation and Ranken Technical College. This program is designed to attract and develop entry-level talent to fill critical collision repair roles and improve the retention and advancement of collision repair technicians. The other pilot sites are the College of Lake County in Illinois, Contra Costa College in California and Texas State Technical College.

Cotton and Chaney are working to secure a date and location for this event in 2023. Interested parties can keep up to date with future plans on the event website, www.midwesttradeshow.org or on the Facebook page,

For more information on the Midwest Trade Show, visit www.midwesttradeshow.org.