Show Management for the International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) and the show sponsor, the Automotive Service Association (ASA), announced yesterday that starting in 2004, the event will be held in Las Vegas in concurrent with the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW). This change means NACE 2004 will be held Nov. 3-6, at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, in Las Vegas. "Las Vegas has always been an excellent location for NACE. Holding the event in conjunction with Industry Week in a destination that has consistently set NACE attendance records is a very positive move. Throughout the process leading up to this decision, the support for Las Vegas as an annual location and the change in timing to Industry Week has been extremely strong," said Galen Poss, president of Hanley-Wood Exhibitions, the NACE Show Management company. "Holding NACE during Industry Week validates the timing and venue as the premier gathering for the world’s automotive service community," he said. Many segments of the automotive aftermarket industry participate in AAIW. The official sponsors are the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) and SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association. "Sponsors of the SEMA Show and AAPEX are pleased to welcome the automotive collision repair industry and NACE to Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week in Las Vegas. Exhibitors and attendees at all three trade shows will benefit from expanded opportunities and attendance during Industry Week 2004.” (An official joint statement issued by AAIA, MEMA and SEMA.) Other organizations with programs during AAIW include the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), the Overseas Automotive Council (OAC), the Tire Industry Association (TIA) as well as the Automotive Service Association’s CARS. "As the NACE sponsor, ASA wholly advocates moving the event to Industry Week," said ASA president Ron Pyle. "It is ASA’s responsibility to represent the best interests of the aftermarket service industry. This move represents those interests because it will be advantageous to NACE exhibitors and attendees. Beyond the collision sector, however, this move will be advantageous to the entire automotive industry. For the first time, there will be a single destination for everyone." "At its founding 20 years ago, few accurately predicted NACE’s exponential growth and far-reaching influence. Today, we are witnessing a watershed event that will have an even greater future impact. A central element of ASA’s mission is to advance the automotive service industry. Adding NACE to Industry Week fulfills this mission," Pyle said. Vernon Crump, chairman of the NACE 2003 Attendee Advisory Council, said, “There has been a notable increase in attendance each time NACE has been held in Las Vegas. With all of the airfare and hotel packages available from anywhere in the world, the great food and entertainment, Las Vegas is a natural. In making this move, there will be tremendous advantages for attendees and exhibitors alike. This change will also serve as a springboard for the growth and future success of NACE.” "Having been involved in this industry for over 40 years and in NACE for 20 years, we have seen many positive changes take place. As President of Car-O-Liner Company the first company to sign-up for the very first NACE I look forward to seeing what the future brings. We feel the decision to move to Las Vegas holds many advantages for both exhibitors and attendees alike, promising continued success," stated Larry Carter, Chairman, NACE 2003 Exhibitor Advisory Council. "Valspar is very happy about the direction that NACE has taken for this event. We believe that Industry Week in Las Vegas will enhance the attendance and set the stage for continued success of this annual event. We believe in the mission of NACE and will continue to support this industry," stated Shelly Cullen, director of marketing, Valspar Refinish. "DuPont is enthusiastically supporting ASA’s decision to permanently move the NACE show to Las Vegas," said Rich Morecz, DuPont Performance Coatings’ marketing manager. "This, coupled with the tie to Industry Week, demonstrated to us that ASA is committed to the continuous improvement of NACE for both attendees and exhibitors. These steps can only benefit the collision repair industry."