Auto Service World
Feature   August 1, 2001   by Auto Service World

SHOW REPORTS: Thousands Attend the Last Independent AERA Expo

Thousands of engine builders attended the final independent AERA Expo show, and took away more than just knowledge.

While attendance was generally regarded as down from past Expo events, most operating equipment exhibitors did a brisk trade in selling their equipment off the floor.

Still, many in attendance wondered about the future of the show, considering how the size of the show hall–the voluminous Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.– emphasized the shortfall in attendance. It was interesting to note that despite the down note of many as a result, sales of equipment and supplies for many exhibitors were good. (This is in stark contrast to the economic impact of the decidedly upbeat Miss Florida Pageant being held in the convention center at the same time. The mood at that event was appropriately boisterous, but they apparently spent so little money that the convention center closed the coffee cart after the first day when it sold only $6 worth of java and muffins.)

So, at least a part of a lesson can be had about attitude being at odds with reality.

In any regard, the AERA Expo moves in with the Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association (APRA) and the Automatic Transmission Service Group at “The International Big R Show” in 2002.

“The combination of the APRA Show with the AERA Engine Expo was a natural,” explains Barry Soltz, president of the AERA. “AERA has hosted the world’s largest engine expo for many years, and both of our organizations have been active participants in Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week. With the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center, it’s possible for both associations to fully participate in the premier automotive aftermarket event.”

“The 2002 International Big R Show will bring all aspects of the rebuilding industry together at one location for the very first time in the history of aftermarket shows,” says William Gager, president of APRA.

The International Big R Show is scheduled for November 1-4, 2002, at the Las Vegas Convention Center, immediately preceding the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week events.

Thousands of shop owners and machinists attended this year’s AERA Expo show. The biennial show joins forces with the Automotive Parts Rebuilders Association for the International Big R Show in 2002.

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