Las Vegas, Nevada was once again the location for this year’s SEMA / AAPEX show. There are few industry events where ABPA members can meet with their piers, insurers, body shop leaders, and the manufacturers. Every year many ABPA members make this annual trek to the desert to meet with business colleagues and vendors, and to have some fun.
This year we were fortunate to only have one show in Las Vegas, with NACE being held in Detroit over the summer. Personally, I opted out of walking the SEMA show. While I do enjoy the show cars and extravagant displays, I find it has little value for myself representing the ABPA.
The AAPEX show is where the action is for me! This year saw an increased number of ABPA members showing their wares, including most of the lighting, cooling and mirror companies. LKQ Corp. also had a fairly large booth, as did some of our online members, including All Star Auto Lights and 1A Auto. The volume of attendees seemed strong – as I walked the aisles, there was never a shortage of people. The hot product this year seemed to be LED lighting and strobe lighting.
Meeting in Las Vegas would not be the same without the social events, and this year there were plenty to choose from. CCC once again went all out with a large party held at the Mix Lounge at the Delano Hotel. What made this party special was that Mix is located on the top floor of the hotel and offered breathtaking views of the Vegas strip. This does not surprise me, as the team at CCC is great at throwing terrific parties as every event, including the ABPA Convention in Austin last year.
By far the most well attended social event for ABPA members is the Maxzone Hospitality Dinner. An AAPEX show tradition for many years, this year’s event was once again held at Pampas Churrascaria in the Miracle Mile Shops. It was a great venue in 2013, so Maxzone decided to host again at the same location. The room was packed and the servers bringing around the various meats could barely fit through the tables.
As a final note, I would like to extend a special thank you to NARSA for graciously providing the ABPA Meeting space at Harrah’s casino, as well as discounted rooms for the ABPA Board.