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Get set for change

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The UK aftermarket is entering the biggest shift in living memory and the growth of electrification and ADAS has highlighted the need to upskill like never before. The team who works with industry suppliers and trade associations for the Automechanika Birmingham event, which returns in June 2023, and creators of the online digital platform auto:resource, will bring the trade together for a brand new event next
June at the NEC, which will solely focus on training, tools and technology, to support workshops in this time of transition.

The UK Garage & Bodyshop Event will take place at the NEC 8-9 June 2022, within one hall housing around 100 exhibitors. There will be three training hubs and three feature areas, enabling workshop owners and technicians to participate in training taster sessions in order to highlight areas they want to upskill and connect with training and equipment providers to progress their skills and garage business.

There will be live demonstrations and accredited training across three key areas: EV Hybrid, Workshop and Collision Repair, each offering technical seminars from industry experts covering ADAS, MOT, safety/service and repair, collision repair, diagnostics, and more. Kristan Johnstone, Project Director Messe Frankfurt UK, told autotechnician: “We’re looking to almost replicate what has worked very well at Automechanika Birmingham but doing that across different themes so it gives people a really clear structure of where they can go for relevant topics for them.”

There will be a best-in-class Modern Workshop feature that will showcase the latest infrastructure, equipment and tools, to highlight, and provide advice on, business planning and investment priorities. The feature is designed to get workshop managers and owners reflecting on where they are currently and where they need to invest. Kristan sees it as a learning opportunity, so visitors can come away thinking, “These are some of the considerations I need to go back and factor into the management of my workshop – a combination of infrastructure, products and tools.”

VIP treatment…

A VIP programme for workshop owners will include a dedicated area for workshop owners to enjoy refreshments and gain business advice from a variety of suppliers. “There’s a huge appetite for business advice but sitting at a 30-minute seminar is not the way they want to digest that information,” Kristan states. “We’ve created this hub ‘The Garage Owners Club’, a lounge within the hall, with all the relevant bodies, associations and suppliers, so people can go and meet on the stands or the networking area and have those discussions”.

A resource to take away…

Visitors will be provided with a take-home training guide folder, where they can collate the information and options available from each training hub, stand and feature. Chloe Hyland, Automechanika Marketing Manager, explains: “Because we’ve got the three separate training hubs, and the exhibitors will be having training on their stand, we think its quite nice to plan a full day’s training for a visitor… where you can go and visit each of the training hubs or different suppliers, receive either training or taster sessions or information and collect all that information into one place. We know the visitors are coming to get value at a show and I think that walking away with a hard copy of information and knowledge really portrays that.” Kristan adds: “It will become a reference guide. We appreciate that full training courses can’t be delivered on a stand in a busy exhibition hall. The technical seminars work incredibly well, and people know it’s going to give them a level of awareness and insight, it’s not going to answer all their questions, but the awareness to know they need to go away and find out more about this topic and where they can get more information. Similarly with the sponsors and exhibitors who are offering the training demos it’s an opportunity to get a flavour of what they offer and ask some pertinent questions to people who are experts in their field, to find out what they know, what they don’t know and what they need to know”.

The event has seen huge industry support with associations already supporting the event, including the Institute of Motoring Industry (IMI), Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), Society of Motoring Manufacturers (SMMT), Independent Garage Association (IGA), National Bodyshop Repair Association (NBRA), Hybrid Electric Vehicle Repair Association (HEVRA), and Automotive Bodyshop Professionals Club (ABP Club), to name a few.

Tickets will be available at www.garage-and-bodyshop-event.uk.messefrankfurt.com.

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