Source: Chasidy Rae Sisk, Autobody News
On April 24-27, the Automotive Body Parts Association (ABPA) hosted its 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention at the Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa in San Diego, CA.
According to Edward T. Salamy, executive director of ABPA, “The event went extremely well and exceeded our expectations. Attendance was at an all-time high and we set a record with corporate sponsorship. The annual ABPA convention is a gathering of aftermarket collision part distributors, manufacturers, insurers and other industry partners.
“Our members lead busy lives running their businesses and have little time to travel to related industry events where they may or may not be able to meet. The ABPA convention is important for our members as it is the perfect opportunity for them to meet with the leaders of their industry as well as make new business connections. In short, if you are a distributor or manufacturer of aftermarket collision parts, you need to be at this event.
“In addition to being our best annual convention in years, the ABPA is proud to have partnered with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) in once again participating in their Recycled Rides program. This was the second time that the ABPA has done this, and once again, the event did not disappoint. A disabled Marine veteran was the recipient of this year’s vehicle, a 2016 Sentra. ABPA members such as Quality Plus Automotive in San Diego and LKQ donated parts to the cause.”
Tuesday featured a Board of Directors meeting and Open Reception with a golf tournament, cocktail reception, tradeshow and reception dinner. In addition to a keynote by Steve Fodor of Customs Services & Solutions Inc. on “The Ever-Changing World of Importing into the USA,” Thursday and Friday both offered many educational seminars for attendees to choose from, presented by companies such as LKQ, NSF, Intertek, Car-Part.com and PartsTrader.
“The response from attendees was overwhelmingly positive. In addition, initial results from the attendee survey are coming in with a 35 percent response rate as of this morning. One question we ask is if they felt the ABPA meeting was a valuable experience, and all respondents have answered ‘yes.’ This is something we take pride in as we try to not only offer our attendees many educational topics, but we also incorporate a fun social atmosphere,” Salamy noted. “The event exceeded our expectations with a higher than expected attendance rate and record sponsorship. At the last minute, we had to raise meal counts with the hotel and add tables to our ballroom meeting space. This is a problem that we do not mind having.”
The ABPA represents the interests of the aftermarket collision parts distributors and manufacturers, primarily in the United States and Canada. The site for the association’s Annual Meeting and Convention is chosen by the ABPA Convention Committee, which is led by association Chair Kim Hicks and ABPA President Dolores Richardson.
Richardson shared, “This being a male-dominated industry, Kim and I are humbled to have been voted by our board to serve as Chairman and President during the past year. We worked with Ed for our 2018 conference and will continue for 2019. Since his debut in this position, he has done a tremendous job increasing membership and sponsorship.”
ABPA’s 2019 Annual Meeting and Convention will be held April 30-May 3, 2019, at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort in FL.
Salamy added, “After we made the announcement in San Diego, the ABPA members seemed extremely pleased with the selection, and there is already interest raised from sponsors.”