Record 2024 Participation Sees Collision Repair Expo Hit New Heights

The 2024 Collision Repair Expo concluded last Saturday after attracting a significantly increased crowd and number of exhibitors over the previous event held in 2022. Sponsored by SAPE Group and organised by the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), the expo – and the co-located Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo – attracted 13,282 visitors and over 400 leading brands from local and international markets across more than 21,000 square metres of exhibition space.

In addition to seeing the latest in body shop products and services, attendees took advantage of a range of technical and business training sessions and networking opportunities.

In a sign of the show’s rapidly growing international reputation, an impressive contingent of overseas-based senior management representatives flew to Melbourne to support their local colleagues. Additionally, the education seminars featured a host of highly respected speakers from the UK, USA and Australia.

The expos were officially opened by Andrew Leigh, Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury and Assistant Minister for Employment, who was joined by AAAA Chairman Wayne Bryant at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

“It was great to have Andrew Leigh open the event,” Stuart Charity, CEO of the AAAA told BodyShop News. “He is responsible for the motor vehicle information sharing scheme and he is a massive advocate for the policy within the ALP party room. He has probably been to 30 workshops around the country, so no one understands the issue more than he does.

“We are at a really critical stage with the scheme – the government is looking at a review process which is coming up over the next few months, so it was really important to get the minister here to understand the areas of the scheme that are working and those that could be improved on from a design point of view.”

Charity said he and his team were “blown away” by the industry’s response to the expos.

“The number and quality of exhibitors was at record levels and it was great to see the investment they put into their stands,” he said. “All the on-floor activities, the technical training and business education sessions and the Expo Electrified Zone were really well attended, attracting big crowds.

“We also secured several international speakers and trainers. We had Bill Hanvey who heads up the Auto Care Association in the US and runs one of the biggest shows there, AAPEX; we had Robert Snook from Business Success Global in the UK, who is also well known around the world for his work with IBIS, and Dirk Fuchs from Electric Mobility Consulting in the US, a world expert in EV safety, repair and workshop layout. We also had the team from I-CAR in the US doing technical training, so we had strong international representation with a US flavour that really focused on the issues, challenges and changes that are coming to the industry.

“Exhibitors and visitors also embraced significant networking opportunities over the three days so once again, the expos were a terrific showcase of our industry.”