Fresh faces and focus on new technology headline VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo
Gladstone, Mo.—It will be an exciting year for the upcoming VISION Hi-Tech Training and Expo, which will feature brand new training opportunities, fresh new trainers and exhibitors, and a celebration of the formation of MWACA (Midwest Auto Care Alliance). The event will be held from Feb. 28 through March 3, at the Overland Park Convention Center in Overland Park, Kan.
“Attendees and exhibitors will not see a lot of change in the structure or layout of the event due to our new name and the formation of MWACA,” said Sheri Hamilton, AMAM, and MWACA executive director. “What they will notice though, is the updated lineup of exhibitors and training opportunities available this year.”
In 2018, VISION rolled out heavy-duty training opportunities for the first time and the response was excellent, she said. Due to the response, Hamilton says that the heavy-duty portion is now going to be expanded. “This year will feature dedicated heavy-duty management classes in addition to the technical training in heavy-duty repair. Management training classes include “Business Management for HD Shop Owners and Service Advisors,” “Marketing Tips to Supercharge Your Truck Shop,” and “Elevating Service Excellence & 10 Measurements that Drive Results in Your HD Shop.”
Also added to the training arsenal this year will be technical training classes specific to ADAS. “We are having two live car classes which are already sold out and one ADAS lecture-style class which is filling up fast,” Hamilton said. Those classes include “ADAS Problems and Solutions Live” as well as “ADAS Fault Analysis,” both sponsored by CTI/WTI.
Additional programming and diagnostics training opportunities are also going to be available in partnership with AE Tools at its new facility. “Joey Hendrich and his team at AE Tools have graciously offered us the space to for two new hands-on training classes which will take place on Thursday and Friday. This will include “Electronics 101” and “Vibration Correction.”
VISION will also be bringing in one of the industry’s top up-and-coming trainers in Brandon Steckler, she added. “Brandon has developed quite the following and we are thrilled to have him in for this year’s event. He does independent training, but also works with CTI to present training in some of the industry’s newest technologies.”
Steckler will be presenting “Pressure Waveform Acquisition & Analysis From the Inside Out” on Friday.
Fresh faces for management training include Kim and Brian Walker from 5 Stones Media, and shop owners Kim Auernheimer and Greg Buckley. “We are thrilled to have these fresh faces and perspectives for this year’s management training. They all have a lot to offer to the attendees,” Hamilton said.
Aurenheimer will teach several courses on branding and SOPs which include “The 3 Ps to a Well Functioning System - Policies, Process and Procedures” and “Branding Your Business: It’s Not Just a Logo.” Buckley will be offering “Must Have Video: A Powerful Way to Market, Educate, Explain, and Profit.”
The Walkers and 5 Stones Media were key to the rebranding of MWACA after its formation, she said, and will be there to discuss “The Art of Creating Engaging Facebook Ads” and “How to Use the StoryBrand Framework to Clarify Your Message.”
“StoryBrand” is the basis upon which MWACA’s new website was formed upon.
Hamilton added that in addition to all of the new faces, they have a “great lineup” of the industry’s top coaches, trainers and shop owners who are back to share their knowledge as well.
Returning to VISION for the first time in two years will be the AMi graduation, which will be held on Saturday night during the Celebration of Independents Awards Dinner. “If anyone graduating would like information on how to obtain a cap and gown to be a part of this event, please reach out to Toni Slaton or myself and we can give you that information. We have always had the largest graduating classes at VISION and anticipate the same for 2019,” Hamilton said.
The Thursday evening Hi-Tech Diagnostic Tool Expo and the 60,000 square foot VISION Expo are both back as well. “We have over 20 first-time exhibitors this year that are going to fill the floor with new products and ideas for 2019. We are further ahead in booth sales than we have ever been with only a few booths remaining,” Hamilton added.
Registrations are also up. “As of mid-December, we are experiencing a 20% increase in registrations over this same time last year. The response to the 2019 event has been amazing.”
Registration information includes the following:
• Early Bird Registration ends Jan. 10 (save $20-$50)
• Applications for scholarships Jan. 11
• Spouse program returns (more information coming soon)
Hamilton anticipates that management training will sell out for the first time this year and urges those who wish to attend to get their registrations in early. “Our technical training is on pace to sell out as usual, but management training is going fast as well. If you wait too long, you risk the availability of your desired classes being filled up.”
Educators who are planning on attending have the opportunity to get a $50 discount on their registration. If they have the 4-Day Power Pass and attend the Educator Think Tank on Friday, the savings will be applied.
Hamilton added, “We will continue to support the future of our industry and VISION is just one example of how we are doing that as a collective group. You are not going to want to miss this one. Be on the lookout for big announcements leading all the way up to the event.”