Texas Auto Body Trade Show Preview: Top-of-the-Line Education Mixed with Fun!

by Alana Quartuccio

If there is any group who knows how to make learning fun, it’s ABAT!

Excitement continues to build for the 2023 Texas Auto Body Trade Show, and that includes an educational slate that is chock full of the most useful information one can find on the latest industry trends, discussed by some of the industry’s most dynamic speakers.

As if that’s not enough to get you to gallop over to the Irving Convention Center on August 25 and August 26, perhaps learning over lunch or over a couple of pints will! That’s right, ABAT’s educational slate even includes a happy hour session!

This top-of-the-line educational slate features the cream of the crop – from Mike Anderson (Collision Advice) to Danny Gredinberg (Database Enhancement Gateway) to Aaron Schulenburg (Society of Collision Repair Specialists) and more!

“We are thrilled to have some of our favorite speakers back year after year as their content is always amazing,” says ABAT’s Executive Director Jill Tuggle. “I’m also excited about the many fresh faces who have come on board – many from our local industry – who are well respected and intelligent people with some great things to talk about.”

Highlights include a discussion on Customer Copay Coaching led by ABAT’s very own Logan Payne (Payne & Sons Paint and Body Shop; Dallas), which ABAT President Burl Richards suggests is a must for any shop owner. As proven with last year’s sold out class, Payne does a fantastic job explaining his business model, “and he does an excellent professional job when it comes to explaining to the billpayer what needs to be done and why it needs to be reimbursed,” according to Richards.

Another great feature will be Schulenburg’s talk about the latest news related to the game-changing SCRS blend study. “I am really looking forward to hearing Aaron explain the study and its results to shop owners as many may not be aware of it and the process that went into it,” adds Richards. “It was handled masterfully. Anyone who observed it can see it was done in the fairest way possible.”

Whereas many collision repairers may be aware of SCRS’ blend study from news outlets (and if you’re not, find the recap at grecopublishing.com/hd1222cic2022), Schulenburg suggests this in-person conversation will “dig a lot deeper into how the study was approached, what the outcomes were, what the conversations with the IPs yielded and what some of the changes that have been motivated look like. The discussion will broaden people’s perspectives on how they can utilize this information.”

The Trade Show will mark one year since the study came out; therefore, the Texas audience is likely to be the first to hear the latest updates following related discussions coming out of the July Collision Industry Conference (CIC).

Collision industry icon Mike Anderson returns to inspire repair professionals to “Be Extraordinary.”

“There’s a quote by a gentleman named Kevin Brown who said ‘nobody notices normal,’” states Anderson. “We have to be extraordinary at OEM research, at customer experience and provide an extraordinary place for people to work so they want to work for us. My father used to say, ‘Being average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.’”

Attendees will also be supplied with statistics on labor hours and how Texas matches up against other states; everyone who attends will get a copy of the presentation.

Excitement also builds around the electronic vehicle discussion to be led by Gabe Morley (DEKRA), which is crucial to shops as most are behind on knowing what these repairs will take and the time to learn is now. “It’s coming, and we can’t stop it,” Richards stresses.

Building in opportunities for attendees to interact with speakers through a learning lunch talk and happy hour chat are really key in helping to keep conversations going in relaxed atmospheres, adding to the fun of the whole Trade Show experience!

Schulenburg looks toward the Auto Body Happy Hour session with great anticipation. “Talking about the industry over a pint is something that came out of a conversation I had with Jill Tuggle. It’s a different approach to panel discussions where those in attendance feel like they get a glimpse into a more intimate conversation about the industry between friends and get to chime in as well. I think it’ll be a fun exercise, engaging the audience to talk about the industry and what it looks like today.”

Stay tuned for more updates on the 2023 Texas Automotive Trade Show in next month’s Texas Automotive. To learn more about the show and to register, visit abat.us/tradeshow.

Want more? Check out the June 2023 issue of Texas Automotive!