Industry Revs Into High Gear at 2018 Mobile Tech Expo
Buyers Looking For New Products, New Ideas, Networking and Learning Experiences Came To The Right Place…
By Ellen McKoy, Photos by Ellen McKoy
There’s no business like show business. And for the record-setting crowd of attendees—more than 3,000 from all walks of the mobile auto appearance market trekked to the 17th Annual Mobile Tech Expo—the Show was chockful of opportunities on and off the exhibit floor.
The three-event, which ran from January 26 – 28 at the Caribe Royale in Orlando, included a raft of seminars, divided for the first time into specific learning tracks. From the kickoff on Education Day on Friday through Saturday, seminar rooms were overflowing with attendees anxious to partake of—and learn from—world-class presentations. Topics ranged from product information, marketing, sales and technology to business finance, detailing, PDR and more.
In another first for the MTE, there was a keynote presentation on Saturday morning that attracted a crowd of eager early risers. Keynoter Renny Doyle, renowned detailer and founder of Detail Success, captivated the jam-packed audience with his presentation titled “Killing it in Business and in Life.” Doyle was so intriguing that many attendees hung around afterwards for a chance to hear more of what he had to say.
But that was just the beginning of an excitement-filled day. As the opening of the Show floor approached, the hallways were packed with buyers waiting to surge into the sold-out exhibit hall filled with both returning companies and first-time exhibitors.
Manufacturers go to great lengths to introduce innovative products, systems and technologies slated for reveal at trade shows. MTE was no exception.
From tools, equipment and car care products to software solutions, window film and windshield repair to hands-on product demos and much more, buyers were treated to new business opportunities and new ideas at every turn.
In fact, walking around the packed aisles—sometimes so crowded it was hard to move—it was astonishing—and heartwarming—to think that, just 17 years ago, a small gathering of suppliers helped launch what has become the most significant trade venue dedicated to the automotive enhancement and recon industry.
But trade shows are about more than just new products and educational experiences. They’re also about fellowship and camaraderie, interacting in hallways and in after-hours networking. And no Mobile Tech Expo would be complete without a chance to gather with friends and colleagues to talk shop, share ideas and pay tribute to industry achievers.
Two such events are the annual Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony and the Dent Olympics awards presentation. You can read all about the latter in Mobile-Tech News.
At the Opening Reception & Awards Ceremony, which took place on Friday evening, top honors were handed out in an impressive array of categories.
- Work Truck Competition: Stephen Hamby, Pro PDR of Georgia
- Leather Competition: Tim Strange, Dent Wizard International
- Detailing Person of the Year: Larry Kosilla, AMMO NYC
- Accessory Person of the Year: Jeremy Langton, Dent Technology
- Interior Restoration Person of the Year: Barry Marvin, Nuterior the Art of Restoration
- Paint Restoration Person of the Year: Jonathan Motes, C.A.R.S.
- Side Emmert Memorial PDR Tool Award: Dave Streen, Edgy Tools
- Rufus Lowery Memorial Award PDR Mentor: Kevin Andrews, TDN Group
- Tom Nations Memorial Award PDR Person of the Year: Vince D’Allessandro, Dents No More
- Windshield Repair Person of the Year: Manny Quintero, Dent Out – Windshield Repair
- Wheel Restoration Person of the Year: Andy McIntosh, Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists of Southwestern Ontario
Other individuals were recognized for their outstanding support of and contributions to the industry. Recipients of the 2018 MTE Lifetime Achievement Award included Steve Hopf of Ultra Dent; Larry Batfish of Four Star Products; and Dale Kinsey of Dent Olympics. Kazszimieras “Kaz” Stankevicus of Starliner was honored with the Nat Danas Memorial Award.
In reflecting on the Expo, Show Director Kevin Halewood had this to say. “It was an amazing gathering of the best in the automotive enhancement community. We couldn’t be more proud of the changes to the Show, the excitement on the Show floor for new products and new ideas, and the networking.”
@CL: When the doors to the 2018 Mobile Tech Expo finally opened, buyers surged enthusiastically into the exhibit hall.
Aisles were jam-packed with a record-setting crowd of more than 3,000 attendees.
Keynoter Renny Doyle wowed a room filled to overflowing during his Saturday morning presentation.
Robin Wehring teamed up with Paul Apollonia and Martin Brossman to present a series of well-attended sessions on the topic of digital marketing, during one of his sessions.
The Friday night awards reception was sponsored by Glassparency.
Manny Quintero, named Windshield Repair Person of the Year, also received the MTE Humanitarian Award for his relief work on behalf of storm-battered Puerto Rico.
PDR guru Kaz Stankevicus was honored with the Nat Danas Memorial Award.
Andy McIntosh, Alloy Wheel Repair Specialists of Southwestern Ontario, was all smiles after receiving the Wheel Restoration Person of the Year award.
Exhibitors and attendees joined together for an evening of networking and shop talk, and to salute award honorees at the opening night reception.
Registration personnel were kept busy as attendees lined up to pick up their Show credentials.
Popular presenter Mike Phillips of Autogeek.com spoke to an overflow crowd about the benefits of using the Autogeek Vehicle Inspection App.