NWRA on Top of the World
by Dave Taylor
Let me tell you about our fifth conference and first trade show. It was great! Sherri Davisons keynote address to more than 200 windshield repairers, window film tinters and auto glass replacers was exciting and on the mark. Her ideas on how to influence the customer on the telephone were excellent. For an hour she gave us tips on how to win the telephone wars. With telemarketing and in-bound call centers popping up everywhere, her high-energy address was right on the numbers.
During the next two days, NWRA members and invited guests shared their expertise on a wide variety of subjects. We heard from one of our first certified technicians on how to prepare for the certification exam, and reviewed tips on how to be a successful repairer from one of the industrys leading manufacturers. We had an opportunity to question a LYNX representative, and we got the low-down on the big companys windshield repair advertising by a senior VP. We were brought up to date on direct telemarketing by the president of a telemarketing company specializing in the auto glass and windshield repair industries, and learned the technical side of pressure and vacuum from one of our industrys leading scientists. We heard the details about the much-anticipated NWRA public relations campaign from Goldman & Associates, and much more.
We visited with each other at the buffet/cocktail party, in the hall-walls, at the trade show, at the conference and at the continental breakfasts before the conference.
There were a total of 16 presentations. This year, presentations were limited to 45 minutes each in order to have more subjects in less time. Many were only a half-hour. Judging from our comment cards, our attendees liked the sped-up format.
An interesting side story was that our hotel (the Riviera) changed our cocktail party location at the last minute. The Riviera moved our party to a penthouse ballroom with windows on all sides. The views of the Las Vegas strip and downtown were incredible. This ballroom has been used as a movie set in the past. As usual, the camaraderie and food were excellent.
Tuesday afternoon, we had our general membership meeting, election of directors and board of directors meeting. The nominating committee put forth David Taylor, Dave Shores, Rich Campfield, Walt Gorman and Joyce Newsome. Since there were no nominations sent into the nominating committee, or from the floor, all were elected.
At the same time as the NWRA Conference, Key Communications (publisher of AGRR Magazine) staged window film and auto glass replacement seminars. A number of our members took advantage of the opportunity to attend the Carlite training program.
On Monday afternoon, evening and Tuesday afternoon, we had our first trade show which was a big hit. Attendance at the show was 557. The exhibition area was packed on Monday and quite busy most of Tuesday. Windshield repair booths were among the most visited, and a couple of them were packed the entire show. Many windshield repairers took advantage of the opportunity to visit the window film booths as well as the auto glass replacement booths. With 45 percent of windshield repairers now offering replacement, the auto glass replacement demonstrations drew shoulder-to-shoulder crowds.
One thing is for sure; we need more space for more exhibitors. With such a great response, we are hard at work planning next years event.
Dave Taylor is president of the NWRA and secretary/treasurer of Cindy Rowe Auto Glass in Harrisburg, Pa.
Dave Taylor is president of the NWRA and secretary/treasurer of Cindy Rowe Auto Glass in Harrisburg, PA.
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