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ABAT: First major collision repair industry event since 2002 coming to Texas this weekend

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Collision repairers this weekend will gather in the Dallas area for what a trade group touted as the state’s first major industry event since the 2002 NACE.

The Auto Body Association of Texas announced Tuesday the “landmark” Texas Auto Body Trade Show and Education Days would run Friday and Saturday in Richardson, Texas.

The trade show at the Doubletree Hotel and Conference Center in Richardson is expected to include more than 50 booths and feature some of the industry’s top experts offering analysis and education for Texas collision repair professionals. It builds on ABAT’s first education event in September 2015.

“This was met with resounding success and encouraged the ABAT Board to drive its mission to bring more relevant education to make a difference for the Texas collision industry,” the association wrote of the September 2015 Fort Worth event.

The event is intended to leave everyone from body shop owners to technicians to customer service staff “with knowledge and enthusiasm – and to know they are not alone,” Auto Body Association of Texas President Burl Richards said in a statement.

The flagship event involves a panel of experts examining how a shop can follow OEM procedures or certification guidelines to deliver a collision repair — and get paid for doing so.

Collision Advice CEO Mike Anderson, whose company’s “Who Pays for What?” surveys study collision repair procedure reimbursement by insurers, will moderate a forum exploring how to get paid for following the OEM procedures necessary to deliver a sound repair.

Panelists include Precision Body and Paint owner Ron Reichen, a past chairman of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists whose business has 26 OEM certifications, and Eric McKenzie, collision centers manager for the 23-certification Park Place Dealerships. (If those two collision operations weren’t getting paid for following OEM repair procedures, they’d probably be unsustainable.) National Auto Body Research head Sam Valenzuela, whose company also surveys shops on labor rates, will also participate.

Other panelists include experts from Chief, Collision Diagnostic Services, Honda, Mitchell, and NuGen IT.

NABR and Collision Advice are also holding individual educational sessions, and Anderson will deliver the keynote speech “Focus On Your Future”

As far as how to perform those OEM-specified repairs, Chief global training manager Ken Boylan will lead a technician seminar on new vehicle technology, including substrates like aluminum and joining methods like riveting.

Vehicle Value Experts founder Robert McDorman might help shops, insurers and customers keep those new, higher-severity vehicles from being totaled instead of serving as a revenue-driving repair order; his company specializes in total losses and diminished value.

And rounding out the revenue topic, BASF’s Advanced Process Solutions Group will teach shops how to grow paint and material profitability.

The show sounds like it ought to yield the kind of advice to help an owner, manager, estimator, technician or even a customer service rep develop professionally and make their company stronger. But you’ll get to play and network, too; the show features a no-host reception and a visit from guest star K.C Mathieu of KC’s Paint Shop & Restoration and the Discovery Channel show “Fast N’ Loud.”

Cost: $25 for ABAT or Houston Auto Body Association; $50 everyone else.

Details and hotel reservations: and Doubletree Hotel.

More information:

Texas Auto Body Trade Show and Education Days news release

Auto Body Association of Texas trade show schedule

Featured image: Auto Body Association of Texas logo. (Provided by Auto Body Association of Texas)

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