Every year, people make resolutions they intend to keep: get in shape, lose weight, read more, travel. This list can seem never ending, and the resolutions seem to fade away as quickly as they materialize. One resolution that is never hard to keep is committing to improve your business by attending the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) International Fast Lube Expo (iFLEX).
For this year’s expo, dust off your cowboy boots, bring a partner and dosey doe on over to where all the action will be – the new Music City Center in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, May 9-11, 2016.
Just like the evolution of country music, iFLEX has evolved by co-locating with the International Carwash Association’s (ICA) annual, The Car Wash Show. The overlap between attendees – with car washes being a popular compliment to the oil change business and vice versa – will bring a greater opportunity for networking and education to members of both associations.
As of press time, AOCA anticipates a total of 400 exhibitors for both shows – 85 for iFLEX and 315 for The Car Wash Show. That number is expected to rise closer to the time of the event.
If you have an AOCA vendor membership, the dues you pay now include an ICA membership if you exhibit at iFLEX. Membership dues won’t be increasing; the ICA membership is simply an added benefit to the AOCA membership. AOCA exhibitors will have access to ICA’s various opportunities to connect with a diverse and powerful population of car wash purchasers.
What to Expect
If you attend iFLEX, you should expect three days of quality networking, education and fun. There will be 17 hours of education programming – all of which are geared toward helping improve your business and industry knowledge – and plenty of time to rub elbows with fellow industry folks. Though the full agenda hasn’t been released as of press time, iFLEX has a history of providing excellent educational classes, so keep checking www.aoca.org for up-to-date information.
The show will kick off with a Welcome to Nashville Celebration on Monday, May 9, which will be headlined by country music entertainer Kellie Pickler. Some of Pickler’s songs include, “Red High Heels,” “Best Days of Your Life,” and “Makin’ Me Fall in Love Again.” She participated in the fifth season of American Idol, which helped launch her career. She also won the coveted Mirror Ball trophy with dance partner Derek Hough on season sixteen of Dancing With the Stars.
The 2016 keynote speaker is not only someone who knows a thing or two about leadership and success, but also someone who deserves respect. This year, iFLEX has the distinct honor of retired Rear Admiral of the Navy SEALs Scott Moore as the keynote speaker. Ret. Rear Admiral Moore served in the Navy SEALs for 30 years and ended his career in the No. 2 position in the organization. Ret. Rear Admiral Moore led SEAL teams around the globe in more than 2,000 high-stakes missions, including Just Cause (Panama), Bosnia, post-9/11 operations in the Middle East and also the rescue operation which inspired the award-winning film, “Captain Phillips.”
Ret. Rear Admiral Moore is a master in organizational leadership and teambuilding, both of which are critical to running a small business like a well-oiled machine. Ret. Rear Admiral Moore’s speech will be thrilling and will allow attendees to gain insight on how the military builds and maintains elite teams.
Some Quick Numbers
· Ninety-percent of iFLEX 2015 attendees indicated they were more likely to do business with a company as a result of interacting with exhibitors.
· Eighty-five-percent of The Car Wash Show 2015 attendees surveyed were likely or very likely to attend the Show in 2016.
· More than 6,000 people are anticipated to attend in 2016.
The above statistics speak to the high-quality nature of iFLEX and The Car Wash Show and the value it continues to add to the businesses of those who attend. The combination of these two audiences in 2016 will only further increase that value.
Though you will be engaged with all the excitement and educational classes at iFLEX, you may want to get out on the town and venture into Nashville itself.
Founded on Christmas Eve in 1779, Nashville is the second-largest city in Tennessee (Memphis is the largest). Its nickname, Music City, has been around since the 1800s, and there are plenty of places where that name resonates loudly. If you’re a country music fan, you should stop by the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
If you want to rest your legs, take a boat tour of Music Row and visit RCA Studio B, the famous and historic studio where Elvis recorded more than 200 songs.
Have you ever wanted to visit Athens, Greece? You can while in Nashville. At Nashville’s Centennial Park, you will find the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the ancient Parthenon.
Between the educational classes, the added value of interacting with The Car Wash Show attendees, a phenomenal keynote speaker and a city thriving on music means iFLEX will be bigger and better. So, saddle up and register to attend this year’s iFLEX. Go to: www.aoca.org and click on the iFLEX tab to register, book your hotel and keep updated on the agenda. There’s more to come, so stay tuned.