The Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo (AAPEX) will go ahead in November as planned, organizers say.
“AAPEX is definitely a go. That is the plan,” said Auto Care Association president Bill Hanvey in a YouTube video intended to answer industry questions about the annual event.
“Unless the state of Nevada or the federal government tells us otherwise, we are on for AAPEX, as well as the AWDA conference as scheduled,” he said.
Hanvey shared the YouTube stage with Paul McCarthy, president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), who echoed the optimism.
“This event is so important,” he said in a separate AASA press conference earlier this week. “There is a hope – and it is a hope – that AAPEX can be there to revitalize, revigorate, and re-energize the industry, and put us on a growth trajectory. Because, in the end, we are a relationships industry, and we need that time together. We need that time with customers.”
In an effort to give supplier companies more confidence, the associations have made efforts to “de-risk” the decision to attend by extending deadlines for booth space, hotels, and other commitments.
“This gives exhibitors a chance to make a zero-risk decision,” McCarthy said. “Going forward, we commit to full transparency. And not only communication, but over-communication to [our exhibitors].”
So far, exhibitor commitments have outpaced last year’s event
“Exhibitor tracking is slightly ahead of this time last year,” Hanvey said. And attendee registrations started coming in even before there had been an official announcement that registration was open.
AASA’s senior vice president of operations said AAPEX planning is “weighing heavily on a lot of people’s minds.”
Chris Gardner said he’s hearing from some companies that are considering cost-saving measures like bringing fewer staff, not refreshing their booths this year, changing lodging plans, or cutting back on marketing efforts.
“There are a lot of different cost-saving ideas that we’ve heard about,” he said. “But for the most part, exhibitors will still be there.”
The annual show, which typically draws 150,000 suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and buyers, will take place Nov. 3-5 at the Sands Exposition Center.