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ICA show - No "Earlybird" forums?

I.B. Washincars

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As the title pretty much states, have they done away with them? That was one of the main reasons that I would buy the "full pass" or whatever it's called. I really enjoyed the self-serve version and always made sure I was there. Two or three years ago they changed it to mid-afternoon, on the trade show floor, during the trade show. I didn't like that idea at all and let the time slip up on me and missed it anyway. I can't imagine it was well attended. Last year, I bought the full pass before I checked out the agenda, to learn there was no earlybird and really no seminars that kocked my pistol. I think I only attended one and that was because I felt I had to justify buying the pass.

I also use to go to the breakfast that was held on the first morning and enjoyed rubbing elbows with other operators at the table. That seems to have gone away as well, or move to evening (what else is there to do in the evening in LV?) which doesn't work for me.

I think I may just take my member pass this year and not waste the extra money on sessions that I won't glean anything from anyway. I'm disappointed in the direction that the show is going. Does anyone else feel the same way?
 

Kevin Reilly

self serve carwashes
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I just got my WCA newsletter and they are going to a 2-day show only in San Diego. I didn't read it all because there seemed to be more advertising than substance and very little about self-serve.
 

robert roman

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“I’m disappointed in the direction that the show is going. Does anyone else feel the same way?”

To understand the show, you must understand the ICA. The ICA is now industry-centric rather than primarily a membership-driven association.

In other words, ICA concerns itself with the overall health of the carwash industry rather than individual operators or suppliers. Like Spock, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

To understand the show agenda, you must understand the carwash industry.

Since 2007, the carwash industry has been shrinking in size in number of stores, industry wash revenues and equipment sales (down 80 percent compared to 2005 levels).

During the 1990’s and after recessions in early 2000’s, the carwash industry was growing by 6 percent to 10 percent per annum. Today, there is about one percent growth.

Consider the show sessions - building brand, customer experience, social media, online marketing, growth and teams and franchising.

The sessions speak to the future of the carwash industry.

Consolidation is occurring now through expansion of regional chains primarily through the assimilation of the self-service segment. Here, future growth is expected to occur through real estate investment trusts and venture capital.

Consolidation is also occurring in gas and convenience store industry as big chains continue to gobble up small ones. Here, future growth is expected to occur through master limited liability corporations.

With the exception of investment seminar, most likely spearheaded by Sonny’s car wash college folks, the speaker list is devoid of carwash professionals. Instead, the presenters are high paid consultants virtually all of them certified sales professionals.

Why? Consider the pool of investors.

The absence of self-service discussion at ICA or other shows speaks volumes.
 

Earl Weiss

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robert roman;73564 To understand the show said:
A different opinion from me (Big surprise)

I think I agree (surprise) that you need to understand the ICA. I disagree that it is industry centric. I think it is ICA centric. If it doesn't help the ICA then it gets put on the back burner. I.e. have a program like "Water Savers" where the ICA can make $ too.

Tie an overall environmental promotion annualy to earth day? Why bother.
 

Earl Weiss

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With the exception of investment seminar, most likely spearheaded by Sonny’s car wash college folks, the speaker list is devoid of carwash professionals. Instead, the presenters are high paid consultants virtually all of them certified sales professionals.

QUOTE]

Yep. I would like to hear from people Like Benny's, Jax, Auto Bell, Mr. CAr Wash, Delta Sonic... I wonder if they approach thos epeople ... as opposed to so many who "used to own a wash" or "Sell to people who own washes" or whatever.
 

rph9168

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Does anyone else wonder if the ICA exists for the benefit of the people involved in the industry like operators, distributors and manufacturers or for the benefit of Smith Bucklin?
 

Washmee

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During the boom times of the early 2000's there was a lot of over building in the industry. After the crash of 2008 and the demise of many of those over built markets the banking industry has made it nearly impossible to build new wash sites. The only way the manufacturers can grow is by courting the investment trusts and venture capitalists. The ICA is more interested in the manufacturers than operators. Reason, deeper pockets.
 

rph9168

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The ICA doesn't do much for the manufacturers either. Membership costs for manufacturers and distributors are high and the expense to attend and exhibit at the Show is very costly. Exhibitors pay a great deal for floor space and show services especially in a union town like Chicago not to mention the high cost of travel expenses, housing and feeding employees. The exhibitors get very few passes to give to their customers for potential customers. In fact some times they have to buy passes for their own employees or customers to attend. On top of that all attendees to the Show must pay to get into get into the Show before they can even talk to them.

Years ago exhibiting was not nearly as expensive as it is under Smith Bucklin. I remember that at the company I worked for in the 80's and 90's used to get boxes of show passes. We used to include at least two Show passes inside invoices for several months before the Show and would give out extras to anyone that wanted one. Those days are long gone.
 

Ric

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Years ago exhibiting was not nearly as expensive as it is under Smith Bucklin. I remember that at the company I worked for in the 80's and 90's used to get boxes of show passes. We used to include at least two Show passes inside invoices for several months before the Show and would give out extras to anyone that wanted one. Those days are long gone.
I remember those days. I used to throw away passes I received in the mail because I had too many. I think at that time ICA was doing anything they could to build traffic. More traffic would benefit the vendors, insure a return on their show space investment, keep them happy and bring them back the next year. Makes sense to me...but I guess it does not work that way anymore.
 

rph9168

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Smith Bucklin has done some positive things but somehow I think they have lost sight of what the ICA should be. It should benefit its members by creating opportunities to educate and aid its members to successfully own and operate a wash. This should be accomplished by providing shows and other events at a reasonable cost where operators can share ideas, attend educational seminars and gain useful information on what is available to them in the way of equipment, chemicals and other operational tools for their wash. Eliminating morning sessions, reducing seminars and expensive show costs for attendees and exhibitors defeats much of that purpose.
 

mmurra

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I dropped out of the ICA after decades of membership when I figured out that they were no longer serving the guy like me (small fry). I am a proud member of the Coin Laundry Association (CLA), which does its best to provide a value to the small guy. It runs the industry forum most of us use. Mark
 
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