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WCA SHOW Report---Where the H**L was everybody???

Uncle Sam

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I have delayed almost a month after the show to see if anybody would report about the show. This is a post that I don’t enjoy doing because my headline says it all!! The attendance was worse than the WCA show right after 9-11 when no one was traveling and the Uncle Sam persona was started. Many friends, who were also fellow exhibitors, were very disappointed and discouraged about the show. Many of the long time members of this Forum who almost always attended the shows were not there.

The WCA board and staff have to change their strategy to get attendance growing again so those of us who pay to exhibit will want to come back. To add insult to injury the cost of exhibiting in 2013 has gone up again; if exhibitors don’t see better attendance at this show, there will be fewer & fewer exhibitors including ShurVend. A suggestion to the WCA Board and staff---Cost of attendance for the show should be free or minimal ($10) and maybe we should find an Indian Casino somewhere that has enough space to house the show and the attendees. At least we could go gambling to have a little fun after the show closes each day. :cool:

Anyone who wants to answer this should feel free to do so. Maybe we could all learn something.

Uncle Sam :(
 

rph9168

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Moving it to San Diego was a bad idea. Much too far for those in Washington and Oregon to go for a regional show. Need to move it up the coast and I agree it needs to be somewhere either by a casino or something to do that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

I understand the NE Car Wash Show had decent attendance so the poor attendance can't be explained away by the poor economy. It is in a more centrally located site where many can drive to the show. Cost to attend the Show is relatively low especially when compared to the WCA. The rooms are reasonable and there is gambling and other attractions.

The WCA has been the most expensive regional show to attend for quite a while. Making the cost for people to attend more reasonable would help a lot. They will probably do a little better when the ICA moves their show to Chicago in 2014 but they still need to locate the show in a better place to travel with reasonable local attractions.
 

Bill Manke

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We went for just 1 day could have gone for about 2 hours. Not much to see. We won't be going back anytime soon. I go to these show to see whats new. Sure you can see alot on computers anymore. But to see things in person is what I like to do. I went last year and thought the show was pretty good. this year it was amazing how small it was.
 

rph9168

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Some times I think these shows lose their perspective. They are supposed to be a place where operators/attendees and vendors can get together to possibly do so business. For the operators/attendees they hope to see what is out there for their wash and any innovations first hand. For the vendors they hope to be able to sell their products or at least get some solid leads they can work on.

What they have become is a fund raiser for those putting on the Show. I know the associations need some money to operate but I wonder if it is necessary for an association to farm out their group to a company that exists only to run the association. In the case of the WCA, Sam Olivito did a pretty good job at running the association and put on a decent show. I do not know the details why a change was made but since Sam has been gone the cost to exhibit or attend has gone up considerably with no visible improvement in the Show. The same thing happened in the SECWA a few years ago.

You can blame the economy, the weather, unemployment, political differences, etc but until someone wakes up and begins to operate the Show as something of a marketplace where people can attend at a reasonable cost and exhibitors can do the same I feel these Shows will continue to decline.
 

robert roman

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I believe attendance at carwash expositions is a function of several factors including but not limited to;

1) Construction trend
2) Equipment sales
3) Influx of new investors
4) Educational and networking needs of members
5) New innovation
6) Location

If the argument is location, cost to attend, entertainment, etc. is the root cause for low attraction rate, it implies the other demand factors are fairly weak.

1) The only construction trend showing growth is express exterior
2) Aside from new express, in-bay re-loads and installs at gas/c-stores, equipment sales haven’t recovered from the big collapse that occurred between 2007 and 2009. Since OEM’s bear most of the cost of an expo, their ability and willingness to participate is a function of profits.
3) The deep pool of new “mom and pop” investors has been drained
4) At last ICA Expo, the educational sessions were supposedly standing room only implying the need is great. Did the WCA not have educational sessions?
5) Innovation is a function of demand for improvements and equipment sales to fund R&D. Recent innovation has been chemistry, express and in-bay technology and stuff to help reduce expenses.
 

rph9168

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While I tend to agree with most of what you pointed out about slow sales in our industry I would have to disagree with some of your arguments about the importance of location and cost in regards to Shows. With all the information that can be sourced on the Internet and company web sites along with being able to connect to local suppliers after researching in those places Shows must consider offering a better deal and a more convenient location to attendees and vendors than they do currently.

If what you say is true why was the recent NRCC Show successful? Is that region not effected by the things you listed? I believe a good location and rates for attendees and vendors encourages Show attendance.
 

mjc3333

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I believe the NRCC show is possibly more successful than the WCA show because of the fact that the ICA show has been in Las Vegas for the past 10+ years straight.

Why travel to the ICA from the east coast when the NRCC show gets better every year.

Why travel to the WCA show when the ICA show has been in the proverbial back yard of the WCA for 10 years straight?
 

rph9168

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I think you are at least partially right but WCA is also the most expensive regional to attend for both attendees and vendors. I think that has something to do with it. As I have said before, we will find out in 2014 when the ICA moves to Chicago.
 

my2cents

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The internet has made equipment from virtually every manufacturer available for viewing within the confines of your home. In addition, questions and information that a local distributor would answer for a new investor are now satisfied by scouring the internet and reading message boards like this one. I think these shows should be held every other year especially the Car Care show put on by the ICA. I firmly believe that the manufacturers would bring a better show to the people if they had only one time in 24 months to display thier wares.
 
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