The 2001 International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) expanded its educational program, added an Action Demo Arena to the Exposition and reformatted the Opening General Session to include three industry speakers. These changes helped build the success of this year’s show, but it was the attendees and exhibitors — who participated and demonstrated their resolve to resume business after the tragic events of September 11 — that drove the success of NACE 2001.
Attendees showed a thirst for education as many of the NACE Conference seminars and workshops had record participation. For the first time, many of the NACE Conference management track seminars were Automotive Management Institute accredited, also leading to increased attendance at many of these seminars.
“Many NACE seminars and workshops had 500-plus attendees. These numbers validate that our selection of topics for this year’s event was on target with the needs of the industry,” says Dana Bellantone, NACE show director.
The new Action Demo Arena on the Exposition floor also drew standing-room-only crowds for live demonstrations of some of the latest collision repair techniques, including auto glass installation, suspension diagnostics, resistance spot welding, panel bonding and airbags.
The NACE show floor was alive with activity, with many exhibitors saying their apprehensiveness about attendance in light of the September 11 events was cast aside after the first day when crowds packed the aisles of the trade show floor.
“We had steady and strong participation in both the Conference and Exposition; even international attendance remained solid,” said Bellantone.
With one day still remaining, already more than 32,000 people had attended the show. The NACE Exposition had participation from 560 companies that occupied 2527 booths and 252,700 square feet of space.
NACE 2002 will be held December 5-8 at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.
Keep reading this site over the next week as well as Bodyshop Magazine for recaps, releases and commentary that arose at NACE 2001.