Paving the Way: ABAT’s 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show Keeps Growing

by Chasidy Rae Sisk

Trailblazers are forward-thinking leaders who “go where there is no path and leave a trail,” according to American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. While Martin Luther King Jr. described trailblazers as “nonconformists,” children’s author Angela Cervantes claimed, “True trailblazers are motivated not by glory but for love” and insisted that they can be identified by who they surround themselves with.

By all accounts, ABAT has clearly established itself as a pioneer, especially when it comes to the Texas Auto Body Trade Show. On July 12-13, collision repairers will want to roam over to the Irving Convention Center for the 2024 iteration of this authentic and highly regarded original event, created FOR auto body shops BY auto body shops and hosted by Texas shops’ local association which has been supporting collision repairers and their businesses for a decade and paving the way for a better, stronger industry in the Lone Star State.

“We always like to keep things fresh and fun at the Texas Auto Body Trade Show,” ABAT Executive Director Jill Tuggle promises. “This year, we’re excited to see a lot of returning exhibitors. In fact, moving the show to July has alleviated some scheduling conflicts, so we’re ecstatic to bring back some of our favorite exhibitors that missed the last couple shows. We’re also happy to see so many new companies signing up to take part in our annual event, which clearly demonstrates how much value the industry sees in our show, and we cannot wait to bring that value to attendees as well! 

“Every aspect of the 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show has been curated to deliver what collision repairers need – from the educational sessions (see page 19 for the complete agenda) to the exhibitors on the show floors to the competitions, prizes and networking opportunities,” she continues. “We started something really amazing in 2016, and it just gets bigger and better every year…this is Texas, after all! And you can be darn sure that we’re going to have even more fun activities than attendees have ever seen before. ABAT has never hosted a boring event, and we’re certainly not planning to start now! Don’t look for us to conform to expectations for what a trade show should be; we’ve always got a few extra tricks up our sleeves, so be sure to trek on over to the Irving Convention Center for the best collision industry trade show in Texas!”

What can be found on the trade show floor contributes to making ABAT’s show the best year after year as dozens of trailblazing vendors and suppliers from all around the country make the trip to Irving to showcase the industry’s most innovative tools, equipment and services, and everyone involved is anticipating another great show in 2024.

Diamond Sponsor All Clear Diagnostics and Calibration will be returning for the second year after making their debut at the 2023 Texas Auto Body Trade Show. “We look forward to returning, meeting new people and reconnecting with other vendors and attendees we met last year,” shares Courtney Johnson. “We are excited to see all the new innovations brought to the show floor, including showing off our sister company, Dynamic’s Mobile ADAS Recalibration System (M.A.R.S.). 

“Dynamic set out to produce high-quality equipment designed specifically for the mobile technician engineered in accordance with OEM specifications and requirements,” she explains. “M.A.R.S. was developed with mobility and durability in mind. No resizing of any targets was done, allowing all OEM calibration procedures to be followed. We are excited to bring our mobile calibration solution to the show floor in Texas.”

ADAS Aiming will also be returning to the Irving Convention Center for the second year, and according to Jodi Matarrese, “We are excited to attend the Texas show again. We look forward to meeting new people and hopefully some familiar faces as well. We are the leading and the most affordable calibration and alignment tools on the market for ADAS. 

“We distinguish ourselves from the other ADAS companies by tools designed by technicians for technicians. Our patented blind spot alignment tools are what every body shop should have in their arsenal for measuring and aligning today’s vehicles with blind spot sensors. ADAS Aiming’s radar calibration tools are compact, easy to use with a center line set up and are affordable for ANY mechanic or body shop to include calibrations in their services. ALL ADAS Aiming’s tools follow all OEM setup procedures and guidelines. Any shop looking to get into ADAS should visit us at the show and let us demonstrate the value of our tool line up for their business!”

Some of the more tenured exhibitors at the Texas Auto Body Trade Show also expressed excitement about returning to this year’s event.

“We have been attending this show for many years now, and we have found the event is a great place to network with professionals in the Texas auto body industry,” claims Cameron McDonnell of Spray Booth Services. “We are able to meet with potential and current customers who understand the importance of quality automotive paint booth equipment and service, and we can offer them solutions to make them more efficient and profitable. Over the two-day show, we are able to meet many different levels of people from painters to shop managers to executives which gives us a great audience to showcase what we have to offer.” 

McDonnell recognizes that purchasing a spray booth is a major investment for body shops. “Not all spray booth companies are the same, and we understand how important it is for the equipment to run at peak performance, safely and at maximum efficiency maintained by trained technicians. This year, we will be showcasing our service program where we provide a detailed report that is sent to the point of contact after the maintenance is performed. This is a digital report that goes over the status of the equipment pertaining to safety, efficiency, repairs needed and work performed. It not only lists information, but provides detailed pictures of important components of a customer’s booth that are not available to be seen from the outside of the equipment. Information is vital to the success of any auto body shop, and our report gives the customer the tools to see where they can improve efficiency and profitability while planning ahead to avoid possible equipment breakdowns that can be frustrating and costly in lack of productivity.” 

For Paul Kerr (Lift King Collision & Repair Equipment, LLC), the Texas Auto Body Trade Show is all about reconnecting with “old friends, new friends and the great people we have not seen since last year. Everyone – from the attendees to other vendors and ABAT staff – are some of the best people to work and socialize with during the show.”

Lift King introduces new products in Texas each year, something attendees can count on again in 2024. “We will also be offering prizes to those talented artists and associates of the participating facilities during the trade show events; however, I cannot let the cat out of the bag yet!” Kerr teases. “We invite everyone to attend the show, stop by our booth and have a great time.”

“At Sherwin-Williams’ booth, we are excited to promote our Collision Core Suite of tools,” William Godina explains. “Sherwin-Williams Collision Core is an interconnected suite of intelligent applications that are designed to build strength and stability into the core of a collision repair business – removing silos and connecting data, refining and validating processes, optimizing labor and resources, educating and engaging employees, reducing waste and identifying root cause and effect. I’m looking forward to seeing companies within our industry promote their latest products and offerings to improve technician productivity. Most importantly, these new tools will always improve the overall customer experience during the collision repair process.”

Attendees will also want to stop by the KECO Body Repair Products booth to check out their latest offerings. “We are excited to unveil our latest additions, such as the K-Power Lateral Tension Tool, KECO Knockdown Strikers and Hemi Tabs, each designed to deepen your understanding of glue pull repair (GPR) and optimize repair processes,” Benjamin Staton advises. “Additionally, our comprehensive L2E System will be showcased, providing a complete set of tools and tabs for efficient and thorough repairs. Attendees can experience live demonstrations highlighting the advanced features of our GPR collision solutions and innovative tools at our booth.

“At the Texas Auto Body Trade Show, we connect with fellow auto collision repair enthusiasts in the industry,” Staton identifies why KECO joins ABAT’s group of trailblazers each year. “Our excitement is high as we unveil our newest products and highlight how GPR is transforming and improving the industry.”

Chris Curran of Eco-Tech Systems also views the show as a great opportunity for “meeting new industry professionals and seeing existing colleagues. We are really looking forward to this year’s event.”

“OEConnection is excited to be a sponsor at ABAT’s 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show!” Kendra Preston contributes. “To support the Texas collision repairer community, we’re offering two free months of RepairLogic or EstimateIQ for shops that sign up at the show. Inquire at the OEC booth for more details.”

Mike Matlack of Axalta Coating Systems emphasizes the importance of capitalizing on the educational events happening both on and off the trade show floor. “The Texas Auto Body Trade Show is a great opportunity for shops to learn about new information and ideas to improve their business. Way too many shops do not take advantage of this great event…We hope to see you there!”

Of all the innovative and exciting features that have been added to the Texas Auto Body Trade Show over the years – including a car show, a ladies networking event and the annual Afterparty – the BIG SHOTS Competition takes the prize! Since the contest debuted in 2021, it has attracted a lot of attention nationwide and quickly became a staple of ABAT’s flagship event. So, it’s no surprise that the companies sponsoring the competition see it as one of the things they’re anticipating the most. 

“We are supporting ABAT in the technician welding competition by providing welding equipment and also providing supervision and support to the participants,” Jeff Melvin of Solidus USA proudly reports, also indicating his excitement to “meet with collision shop owners and managers to discuss their needs in a rapidly changing industry.”

Nicholas Galati from CCC Intelligent Solutions also indicates that he’s looking forward to seeing who comes out on top this year. “ABAT has always treated us so well, and we’re honored and proud to give back once again by sponsoring the BIG SHOTS estimating competition. Bringing together so many talented estimators to the arena to compete is so much fun for us, and CCC is excited to welcome some new faces to this competition. 

“Aside from that, the Texas Auto Body Trade Show has always provided an amazing opportunity to connect with our customers and educate them on ‘what’s new’ with CCC, so we can help get the most out of their CCC ONE system,” he continues, offering a glimpse at the exhibitor’s plans for 2024: “We will be showcasing *LIVE* one of our newest and most exciting features in CCC ONE: Mobile Jumpstart! We hope everyone stops by the booth to get the answer to the age-old question: ‘What’s new with CCC?’  In addition to showing off the functionality of Mobile Jumpstart, come check out how CCC can optimize your web presence, put OE procedures at your fingertips (literally) and empower our customers to track and manage scanning and calibrations all within CCC!”

ABAT has a ton of fun in store for the 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show, including a claw machine full of prizes, a NASCAR simulator and an educational agenda designed to help attendees boost their brain power enough to fill out that 10-gallon hat they bought on the way to the show!

“We’ll have something for everyone!” Tuggle insists. “It’s going to be a blast…You don’t want to miss it!”

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2024 Texas Auto Body Trade Show in next month’s Texas Automotive. To learn more about the show and to register, please visit

Want more? Check out the May 2024 issue of Texas Automotive!