Bogdan Manta, Director of Sales of the first ever Car Wash Show Europe, speaks to Ireland's Forecourt & Convenience Retailer about the event taking place this October.
IF&CR: Bogdan, you have been involved in the launch of Car Wash Show Europe since February 2014, when ICA announced this inaugural trade show, what was the association’s motivation behind rolling out a European show?
Bogdan: We see that the car wash business in Europe is changing: the profile of owners, the types of car washes and the expectations of customers are all evolving. To serve a changing market, car wash leaders need new ideas and new networks. The International Carwash Association has been serving the car wash industry since 1955 and with a management board comprising solely of car wash operators and suppliers, the association is uniquely positioned for the launch of this event, which will be highly beneficial for the industry.
IF&CR: It is always a challenge to start a brand new event in such an established industry. What feedback do you get from the industry decision-makers?
Bogdan: Indeed, we have been really busy with building meaningful relationships and trust with the key players in the industry especially over the last year. Our efforts are paying off, where we have recently obtained the endorsement of the Dutch and German car wash associations. The endorsements by these associations signify that they have recognised the value we bring to the industry. Furthermore, we see that exhibitors appreciate our approach of considering their objectives, expectations and feedback regarding the event. This is a completely new way of working together when compared to other European trade shows with a car wash component.
IF&CR: What else can the exhibitors and visitors expect from Car Wash Show Europe?
Bogdan: We are excited to bring a whole new experience to European market with seminars, networking events and car wash tours. Car Wash Show Europe will be the most unique and effective platform for car wash owners and operators to improve their business. Exhibitors from across Europe, United States and Asia will be featuring a wide variety of equipment, chemistry and technology – including many products never before seen in Europe. Seminars will be conducted by leading car wash operators from around the world, providing attendees with successful ideas they can put to work in their business.
IF&CR: How do you foresee the success of the trade show?
Bogdan: We are proud to announce that as of May 2015, it is officially the biggest carwash trade show, based on the number of already confirmed exhibitors and exhibiting space. The trade show hall is double the size of any other car wash hall of an existing trade show in Europe. Based on the geographical reach and level of interest from exhibitors and visitors, we forecast a truly international event encompassing various visitors from across the globe. We have already contracted 65% and reserved 80% of the exhibition space, from vendors representing key markets such as Canada, Italy, Poland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, South Korea, Switzerland, France, US, Austria, Spain, and others. There was a high demand for registrations to be opened earlier, a clear indication on the level of enthusiasm among visitors. With this being said, we have seen registrations from Asia, Australia, USA, Middle-East, and the whole of Europe.
IF&CR: What are the plans for the upcoming years?
Bogdan: Car Wash Show Europe is set out to be a biennial event, so the next edition is coming in 2017. We definitely have exciting times ahead considering the tremendous success of The Car Wash Show in Las Vegas a month ago. We had the most attendees in six years; the largest show floor in five years; the most seminar participants ever… and the best energy we’ve ever experienced throughout the week. We are looking forward to carrying this positive momentum into Europe in and beyond 2015.
Read the full interview here