After a long two and a half years since the last ABPA Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, ABPA Attendees converged to the Renaissance Hotel located in bustling downtown Nashville. Initially scheduled to be held in Spring 2021, this was a great opportunity for ABPA members to get together, have a great time and participate in an informative business session. Although attendance was slightly smaller due to COVID concerns, those that attended were engaged in all aspects of the meeting. New for ABPA meetings was the option of a “Virtual” experience where attendees could attend the Thursday business session. Many members took advantage of this which added a whole new level of participation which the ABPA will be adding to future conventions.
Here are some of the highlights of the Nashville Convention:
Early attendees took advantage of their time in Nashville to explore downtown and the Broadway area. For a Tuesday afternoon, the streets were already busy with many of the local Country bars in full swing with live music. That evening, the ABPA Convention started with the Welcoming Reception in the Bridge Bar area within the hotel. The space was beautiful with a full glassed area that showed the Nashville skyline while attendees enjoyed cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres. The skies then opened with torrential rain which kept many attendees in for the night after the Welcoming Reception.
This day is typically a “golf” day for ABPA attendees until the evening trade show. This year, the ABPA teamed up with the Nashville I-CAR team and cosponsored an afternoon event at Nashville Top Golf. Those who participated in the event had a great time and were able to make new contacts from the local I-CAR Community! The weather was beautiful as attendees participated in various skills contests and enjoyed a buffet lunch with an open bar.
Meanwhile, at the hotel, the Tradeshow was being set up that afternoon in preparation for the evening’s ABPA Tradeshow Dinner. As the first major dinner of the convention, the Tradeshow Dinner is always a packed event. Attendees had an exciting time socializing, meeting with the vendors, and of course eating.
Thursday was the “big” day for the attendees. Starting with breakfast at 7:30AM, the events lasted all day straight into the night! In addition to those who were in the ballroom, many attendees were virtual and were able to see all the speakers and interact through the chat feature.
The speaker schedule was kicked off with updates of the ABPA from Ed Salamy (Executive Director). The speakers for the first business session were:
- Peter Quinter – GrayRobinson (US Customs Seizures)
- Greg Horn – PartsTrader (Industry Update)
- Justin Rzepka – CAR Coalition (Coalition Update)
- CAPA / Intertek – (Update on the CAPA Program)
- Jimmy Spears – Tractable AI (Leveraging AI Technology for Parts Selection)
Finally, it was time for the evening’s cocktail and dinner event. Despite a smaller in-person crowd, the atmosphere was lively! The big announcement of the next ABPA Convention for 2022 was made and we will be attempting Newport Beach again! As many of you recall, we had to unfortunately cancel our 2020 Newport Beach event due to Covid. We are excited for 2022 and look forward to having a grand event in California! Details of the Newport Beach event will be coming soon – a big thank you to all our sponsors and I look forward to seeing you all in Newport Beach!
Executive Director – ABPA
A gallery of images from the event is included below: