Taking it to the Next Level: Southeast Collision Conference Highlights

by Alana Quartuccio

The third iteration of the Southeast Collision Conference (SCC) is sure-fire proof that good things get even better over time. Record-breaking attendance, top-of-the-line vendors and products, engaging education, networking and fun were just some of the many takeaways collision repairers in the southeast region experienced in Greensboro, NC this past May. 

For the second year in a row, WMABA collaborated with the Carolinas Collision Association (CCA) to bring their trademark Collision P.R.E.P. (Professional Repairer Education Program) to the show, which featured some of the best players in the industry. (Our full education recap begins on page 18.)

The two day event drew hundreds of automotive repairs to the Greensboro Coliseum Complex to peruse the aisles as dozens of local and national vendors showed off their wares. 

“This year’s show was a huge success,” boasted CCA Executive Director Josh Kent. “We doubled our attendance, and I saw many new faces with regard to both groups’ members bringing their teams and non-members coming out for both education and the trade show. CCA and WMABA worked very well together; the industry is truly connected, and when we come together, great things can transpire.”

“Everyone involved with the show went above and beyond,” agreed WMABA President Kris Burton. “Many may not realize how much goes on behind the scenes. Jordan (Hendler), Chris (Cage), Lizzy (Greve) and the team from CCA put in a lot of work, and I really appreciate their efforts.”

“Next year, the event will be held in Virginia, and I intend to focus on getting as many shops as we can to attend and support the vendors,” Burton added.

CCA President Kyle Bradshaw was equally pleased with this year’s turnout and overall offerings. “Growth year over year is certainly an important piece to it, but more so than anything else, it’s being able to provide value – not only for CCA and WMABA members, but for anyone in the industry who wants to participate.” 

Platinum Sponsor and Education Area Sponsor Lombard Equipment continues to support the show year after year because they truly appreciate the opportunity to get in front of the southeast audience. 

“We had a great turnout last year, and we have a strong customer base building in this territory,” Kevin Lombard explained.  “We are big fans of the associations, and we are grateful to be back. We had a great turnout this year, and we will absolutely return next year.” 

Enterprise Mobility continued their support of the show for the third consecutive year. The company is a Level 1 Sponsor of CCA and Gold Sponsor of the SCC event. Aritha Richardson, who serves as Secretary of CCA, says the show provides “the opportunity to interact with the shops we do business with. It’s an opportunity for us to talk about Enterprise Mobility as we have changed our name to encompass all of our platforms.” SCC also allows them to build partnerships with their body shop customers and introduce them to their resources and tools.

“Every year, the turnout has increased. It’s good to see that the word is out.” 

Platinum Sponsor BASF welcomes the experience provided by SCC to learn from and interact with collision repair shops in order to help them improve productivity. “We love the networking and the opportunity to meet with our customers,” shared Thad Green of BASF, who echoed sentiments about the show’s continued growth. “It’s a great touch point and opportunity to look for new business and support the industry by connecting with and hearing from the shops about what they need.” 

Gold Sponsor Elitek Vehicle Services, an LKQ company, made their first appearance at SCC this year after hearing great things about last year’s show. “We received some communication that we’d want to attend this year, and when we heard it was in this location, our marketing team said, ‘Let’s go,’” said Joe Camire of Elitek. “It’s been a good show, and we had great traction with people coming to our booth.” 

Equipment supplier Autotality returned as a Platinum Sponsor for the third year in a row and already plans to make next year the fourth year they sponsor. The company celebrated a great turnout at this year’s event. Overall, it’s the customers that keep bringing them back, according to Chad Dellinger, Autotality sales manager. “We are here to build relationships and talk about what new products are coming into the industry.”

In addition to the national-level speakers and vendors, SCC brought out many industry friends who played roles in the show. 

“Special thanks go out to both Jill Tuggle of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT) and Aaron Schulenburg from the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), who took the time to come and participate in our event. We all know they have enough on their plates as it is; they were rock stars,” Kent amplifies. “I thought our vendor partners really stepped it up, and we saw several new ones that we have not had in the past, which says a lot about our show. SCC is for shops, vendors and educators, and the main purpose is to expose education to those who may not normally seek it. We hope that this trend continues in the years to come. We look forward to 2025, and we hope everyone else does as well.”

“If people went home that weekend feeling like they got value out of the experience and can make themselves better, then in my mind, we had a successful event, and I believe we did,” Bradshaw adds. 

CCA and WMABA extend their gratitude to all the sponsors who made the 2024 show possible, including Platinum Sponsors: Autotality, BASF, Blue Ridge Color Company, Lombard Equipment and PPG; Gold Sponsors: AkzoNobel, Axalta, Colors Edge, Elitek Vehicle Services (an LKQ company), Enterprise Mobility, Keco Body Repair Products, National Coatings and Supplies/Single Source; Silver Sponsors: AirPro Diagnostics, Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists, asTech (driven by Repairfy), Automotive Training Institute (ATI), AutoZone ALLDATA, Car ADAS Solutions, CAS of New England, Hunter Engineering, OEConnection, Opus IVS, Reliable Automotive Equipment (RAE) and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes; Education Area Sponsor: Lombard Equipment and Lunch & Learn Sponsor: ADAS Solutions.

Want more? Check out the July 2024 issue of Hammer & Dolly!