9.16.21 – On September 10-12, the NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show continued its leading-edge reputation by being the first event of its kind to return to a live setting. Hosted by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, NJ, NORTHEAST 2021 provided automotive and collision repair professionals with an opportunity to re-educate with leading trainers and re-engage with industry peers in a relaxed setting.
“Starting anew after COVID-19 was groundbreaking, but NORTHEAST provided an ideal opportunity to get together in one place yet again,” AASP/NJ Past President Jeff McDowell says. “We all had a great time being back in person – reconnecting with old friends and gathering with the suppliers who take care of us all year – and exhibitors enjoyed connecting with quality customers in person once again.”
Many exhibitors agree with McDowell’s assessment.
“The NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show presents an opportunity to engage in very open conversations about our industry with key players,” BASF Business Development Manager John Shoemaker observes. “The quality of attendees at this year’s event was above the scale expected; it was apparent that attendees were truly interested in being here by the way they asked the right questions to get the answers necessary to help advance their businesses.”
Simone Mazzon, sales manager at USI of North America, notes, “It feels good to move forward with being back and meeting customers in person again. It’s wonderful to leave the virtual world and return to the real one! NORTHEAST is the first show to return, and it’s building momentum for the rest that will follow, like the Texas Auto Body Trade Show this week, SEMA in November and hopefully more in 2022.”
Reliable Automotive Equipment President Dave Gruskos adds, “It was exciting to have our team together at NORTHEAST. Reliable decided to be among the exhibitors on the forefront of returning to live events because we are truly passionate about being leaders in the collision repair industry. It felt very exciting to return to a live event and get to see the industry in person again. As always, it was managed second to none, and we had a great time.”
“AASP/NJ has always been an industry leader, and we’re very proud to be the first to come back with a show of this kind after 18 months of doing everything virtually,” comments Thomas Greco, AASP/NJ secretary and president of NORTHEAST event managers Thomas Greco Publishing. “We felt it was time to get back to some sense of normalcy. Since we moved back to New Jersey over a decade ago, NORTHEAST has shown amazing growth every year. Of course, due to the pandemic and several other factors, it wasn’t a surprise that the numbers were down at this year’s show. But those who attended were the ones our exhibitors wanted to see.
“Most trade shows that have come back have been seeing an average of 60 percent returning exhibitors,” Greco continues. “We were ecstatic to see 82 percent of ours return to fill the MEC. We also want to thank the industry experts who presented amazing seminars and the attendees who made the effort to get back to a live setting. We think the industry is ready and hope that the Auto Body Association of Texas’ [ABAT] Texas Auto Body Trade Show and SEMA will benefit from our willingness to get our feet wet and start the ball rolling.”
As AASP/NJ Treasurer Tom Elder points out, “NORTHEAST was the first show to come back out of the box. Regardless of anything else, the industry gathered together and had a meeting of the minds for the first time since the pandemic.”
“AkzoNobel is thrilled to finally be returning to live events after a year and a half,” AkzoNobel Marketing Communications Manager Jen Poliski says. “We entered this weekend with a ton of excitement and anticipation, with proper consideration given to all safety precautions. It’s great to have our team together again, visiting with customers on the trade show floor. We’re already eagerly looking forward to returning to NORTHEAST in March 2022!”
NORTHEAST 2021 was made possible through the generous support of the following sponsors: Platinum Sponsor: BASF; Gold Sponsor: Ford; Silver Sponsors: PPG, NJ Parts of Flemington; Lanyard Sponsors: Innovative Solutions and Technology, Spanesi; Attendee Prize Sponsor: Axalta Coating Systems; and General Sponsors: Harbortouch and Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes.
The 2022 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show will be held March 18-20 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. Upcoming details and announcements will be available at aaspnjnortheast.com.
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.