NORTHEAST 2024 Highlights: The Heavyweight Champion of Trade Shows!

by Chasidy Rae Sisk & Alana Quartuccio

Boasting a supercard that featured over a dozen informative educational sessions on the industry’s most pressing topics taught by some of the industry’s favorite trainers in addition to a trade show floor packed with the latest and greatest tools and equipment showcased by more than 100 exhibitors from all over the world – plus the Second Annual Bodywork Bowl Collision Repair Skills Competition, the announcement of AASP/NJ’s fourth annual Young Technicians Awards ceremony, two heartwarming Recycled Rides presentations by the National Auto Body Council (NABC) and so much more – there’s no doubt that the NORTHEAST® 2024 Automotive Services Show reigns as the heavy-weight champion of regional industry trade shows!

Held March 15-17 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, this year’s iteration of AASP/NJ’s flagship event delivered everything automotive and collision repair professionals could possibly need to jump in the ring and deliver a knockout for their businesses.

“NORTHEAST is the best trade show in the industry, and I’m proud to be part of it!” shared AASP/NJ President Ken Miller. “We had an impressive flow of attendees on the show floor, eager to invest in the latest tools and equipment, while classes taught by some of the best trainers in the field drew engaged learners to discover new ways to improve their businesses! Everyone gained something. It was an amazing weekend and a wonderful experience overall.”

Exhibitors agreed that NORTHEAST 2024 was one of the best shows they’ve ever been involved in, with many reporting amazing interactions with the thousands of motivated buyers who showed up to peruse the weekend’s offerings.

“NORTHEAST is definitely the best trade show there is!” expressed Staci Dattomo from longtime supporter and Lanyard Sponsor GYS/Innovative Solutions and Technology. “It’s an incredible crowd with really good energy. Being able to come to a show locally and meet people from your market – connecting with your customers, friends and neighbors and also having the opportunity to network with new potential customers – this is where you need to be!”

Even celebrities know NORTHEAST is the show to visit every March. “If you’re not here, you’re missing out! This is a great time,” exclaimed Dave Kindig of MotorTrend TV’s Bitchin’ Rides as he signed autographs at Gold Sponsor AkzoNobel’s booth.

Representatives for NORTHEAST Education Sponsor AirPro Diagnostics, Craig Camacho and Andrew Bathe, also reported a similar opinion. “It was a great turnout,” Camacho said. “I was impressed with a lot of the displays on the show floor, and it’s nice to connect with both attendees and other exhibitors while you’re here.”

“We enjoyed the chance to meet people, talk to shops, collect contacts and teach shops about the proper equipment they need to do module programming and ADAS calibrations,” Bathe added. “NORTHEAST is densely populated with so many shops coming out, and we’re absolutely looking forward to next year being even bigger and better.”

Second-time exhibitor Matthew’s Auto Supplies came out with an increased presence in 2024 by expanding their booth and signing on as a Gold Show Sponsor, and Scott Regalis considered the upgrade to be a wise decision. “We did really well with our booth. It’s a wonderful show with a lot of good vendors and an amazing opportunity to visit with shops in this market and get our name out there. There’s tons to see for anyone in the auto body industry; you just have to come to NORTHEAST to experience it, and I’m certain we’ll be back.”

That was the sentiment expressed by Alan Gung of My Auto Store, another second time exhibitor. “Last year was great, but our location near the door made this year even better. It was an absolutely tremendous weekend with a lot of people stopping by our booth. I love talking about our business and what we do with potential customers, so I’m absolutely excited to come back next year and continue to grow on our successes.”

While it was the first time Silver Sponsor Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists exhibited at NORTHEAST, it won’t be their last, according to Peter Farrell. “The show, the turnout, everything has been fantastic! Everyone has been very friendly and willing to talk about the services and tools they provide and how they can help us, and it’s really interesting to see all the unique offerings available from different providers. The organization at the show has been amazing as well, and we can’t wait to come back next year with a larger booth to better display the services we provide.”

 NORTHEAST 2024 also brought a number of other newcomers to the trade show floor.

“The attendees are serious; they’re motivated to learn and do better, and that’s exactly what we do,” noted George Smith of first-time exhibitor SoCur Inc. “NORTHEAST has been a better experience for us than any other show, even SEMA. We heard this show was great, and that has proven to be true.”

When it comes to this show, believe the hype! “We heard NORTHEAST was a perfect opportunity to get our name out there,” offered Sean Coelho of first-time exhibitor Rapid Rabbit ADAS Services, and his brother and business partner Chris Coelho affirmed that it was exactly that: “NORTHEAST is one of the best organized shows we’ve attended. It has allowed us to meet and network with people in the industry who we didn’t even know existed. We’ve been able to advertise and really just get our name out there. We want to get involved in the local auto body community, so we joined AASP/NJ and are really excited about attending their events and getting to know even more people in this field.”

Charles Hergenroeder from returning exhibitor Teroson gave “NORTHEAST a rating of 10 – I love it here! The weekend was absolutely amazing. We’ve been busy the entire time; I nearly ran out of catalogs and made many valuable connections. I’m already looking forward to next year.”

While Paul Hill has been a steady fixture at the show for the past decade, he represented Original One Parts/Headlights Depot for the first time at NORTHEAST 2024. “This show is the best,” he explained. “You get to really talk to local shops and interact with some amazing customers. Because of my history of being here with other companies, I recommended coming to NORTHEAST as soon as I took this job. The attendance is high, and it’s well worth the time. This weekend offered a prime opportunity to help people get to know who we are, and I’ll be back next year, right in this spot.”

As always, a great deal of repeat exhibitors returned to the show floor.

“We’ve been coming to NORTHEAST since the beginning,” stated Brandon Lowder (Accudraft Paint Booths). “A lot of people come out, so we get to interact with current customers and answer people’s questions about our spraybooths. It’s been really busy all weekend…it started out hectic on Friday night with a ton of people coming through and has continued right through closing time on Sunday. We’re really excited to come to Secaucus every year.”

“We always get a lot of traffic, and this year didn’t disappoint,” agreed Neal Hoffman from Mitchell International. “We’ve had a lot of promising conversations and leads. We doubled our booth this year and hope to keep up the momentum.”

Doug Sandow (Jasper Engines and Transmissions) has been coming to NORTHEAST for 27 years. “We see a lot of people here who aren’t the regular customers we see on a daily basis; it’s an unique opportunity to talk to people in different types of businesses that may only need us every other year. It’s been a really enjoyable weekend with a nice flow of traffic.”

“This show attracts people from all up and down the east coast, so it provides an optimal opportunity to touch base with our end users,” input Dan Fontaine (FBS Distribution). “Attendees are very educated and interested in spending time to learn more about the products that can help them do better, and we’ll be back next year to teach shops even more about what we can offer.”

NORTHEAST 2024 offered plenty for everyone who showed up, including $5,000 in NORTHEAST Dollars. For the third year in a row, 10 lucky attendees were selected at random to win $500 to apply toward a purchase on the trade show floor. The contest is a win-win for all involved including show-goers, exhibitors and AASP/NJ, which enjoys the opportunity to give back to the people who support NORTHEAST year after year.

“I’ve been involved with NORTHEAST for 40 of its 47 years,” commented Thomas Greco, current AASP/NJ secretary and president of Thomas Greco Publishing, event managers for NORTHEAST. “I have never seen as much excitement from everyone – vendors, attendees, presenters – as I did this year. Everyone we’ve spoken to was thrilled with the turnout, the education and the thousands of dollars in prizes awarded which was used to purchase products on the floor. It was THE place to be if you’re an automotive repairer. We can’t wait until next year!”

AASP/NJ thanks these generous sponsors for supporting NORTHEAST 2024: BASF (Platinum Show Sponsor); AirPro Diagnostics (Education Sponsor); GYS/Innovative Solutions and Technology (Lanyard Sponsors); AkzoNobel (Gold Show Sponsor); Reliable Automotive Equipment (Gold Show Sponsor); Matthew’s Auto Supplies (Gold Show Sponsor); and Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists (Silver Show Sponsor).

“NORTHEAST 2024 was our best show yet, but that’s only until NORTHEAST 2025!” Miller promises. “Be sure to mark your calendars now; you won’t want to miss it!”

AASP/NJ is already working diligently on the plans for NORTHEAST 2025, scheduled to take place March 14-16, 2025 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center. Visit for updates on next year’s event as they become available.

Want more? Check out the April 2024 issue of New Jersey Automotive!