The free virtual NORTHEAST will run the same hours as the originally scheduled live event Aug. 21-23, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey announced Monday.
The associated Collision P.R.E.P. educational sessions will be spread out between Aug. 6 and Oct. 22, according to the NORTHEAST website. Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association members and repairers who register early enough can attend those sessions for free as well. The virtual courses will charge $50 tuition to later registrants.
AASP-NJ postponed the traditionally March NORTHEAST as the COVID-19 coronavirus threat and response intensified in the U.S. Though the trade group had hoped to conduct a live event Aug. 21-23, it declared in June it felt health concerns and uncertainty over restrictions merited a virtual event instead.
The virtual NORTHEAST 2020 described Monday hewed closely to the vision the trade group had announced in June.
AASP-NJ said participants could “visit exhibitors’ virtual ‘booth’ pages online, view product information and videos, and even schedule virtual meetings with vendors” once a link went live at 5 p.m. ET Aug. 21 on www.aaspnjnortheast.com. The virtual show will run from 5-10 p.m. Aug. 21, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 22, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Aug. 23.
The trade group said repairers who registered for the live or virtual version of NORTHEAST would simply log in with their email address.
“We are really excited about the virtual show,” AASP-NJ President Jerry McNee (Ultimate Collision Repair) said in a statement. “With the cancellation of the in-person show this year, we looked for a new way to get our exhibitors in direct contact with our attendees so that 2020 wouldn’t be a lost year. It obviously won’t be the same as face to face but we are thrilled to provide an effective alternative at no additional cost to our attendees or exhibitors.”
The Collision P.R.E.P. series starts Aug. 6 with “Documenting for Repair Process and Liability, and Building a Bulletproof File,” featuring Vehicle Collision Experts CEO Mark Olson.
It’ll be followed on Aug. 27 by “Positioning Your Business for Sustainability Among Constant Change” by BASF business development manager John Shoemaker. Next up will be “Utilizing the Vehicle Owner’s Manual to Educate Consumers and Insurers,” presented by Database Enhancement Gateway Administrator Danny Gredinberg and Collision Advice CEO Mike Anderson on Sept. 30. The final Collision P.R.E.P. class, “Vehicle Diagnostics & Calibrations: Know what you know…but more importantly, what you don’t know,” is scheduled Oct. 22 and will be taught by AirPro automotive technology Senior Vice President Chuck Olson and AirPro strategic business operations Vice President Josh McFarlin.
All Collision P.R.E.P. courses will be held at 1 p.m. ET.
“AASP/NJ is proud to announce the return of Collision P.R.E.P. (Professional Repairer Education Program) to NORTHEAST!” the NORTHEAST website states.
In other coronavirus-related events news:
- The Automotive Body Parts Association on July 14 announced it would cancel its convention altogether after earlier rescheduling it to September. “(W)e thought that we would be safe,” the organization wrote. “Unfortunately, with the recent uptick in cases and with California further restricting group gatherings, it simply did not make sense.”
- The National Auto Body Council on Tuesday said it would drop its NABC St. Louis Pars for Cars fundraiser on Sept. 14 at Boone Valley Golf Club and a physical board meeting on Sept. 14. NABC will schedule a virtual closed board meeting in September and hold a golf event at the club in 2021. It said the changes were made as “many of our NABC members continue to face travel restrictions as well as state and local rules and quarantines.”
Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey, July 20, 2020
Featured image: The floor of NORTHEAST 2019 is shown. (Provided by Thomas Greco Publishing)