As the buzz and excitement from the long-awaited 2022 Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo settles, the AAAA team would like to thank everyone that was involved as an exhibitor, visitor, sponsor and supporter, for helping us deliver a truly world class event
Together, we delivered an incredible Expo that brought the industry together to reconnect, network and learn, after years of living with the disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Auto Aftermarket Expo, co-located with the Collision Repair Expo, returned in spectacular fashion, proving yet again to be a milestone event for the aftermarket industry, as it launches into a new era featuring a pace of change never experienced before.
Across three days, running from the 7th to the 9th of April, thousands of trade visitors traveled from across Australia and New Zealand to experience all that the country’s premier industry event had to offer. For many, it was the first chance to connect and network in person in nearly three years. And for the first time, Expo-Saturday saw the public join trade visitors to experience the best of Australia’s $ 25 billion aftermarket industry.
There was an incredible buzz across the Expo having the industry back together. The quality and variety of exhibitors was exceptional and to see the enthusiasm of trade visitors networking face-to-face was appreciated by all. The feedback from the Expo has been overwhelmingly positive from exhibitors and visitors alike.
With the theme ‘The Future Is Here,’ we designed the Expo features around the most comprehensive seminar program in the Expo’s history. Sessions focused on the most important industry topics including Mandatory Data Sharing, the skills shortage and electric vehicles. Other sessions covered business development, digital marketing, customer service, technical topics and much more.
The event set a new benchmark in delivering the most comprehensive and interactive education program ever, which included speaker panels featuring technical experts, workshop owners, politicians, educators, international guests and the new Workshop of the Future sessions. We delivered an unprecedented gathering of expertise and experience to help trade visitors prepare for their future with confidence.
The all-new Workshop of the Future Pavilion inspired some out-of-the-box thinking and took the education program to a new level. Daily seminar sessions helped to fast-track the automotive industry’s understanding of and transition to, servicing and repairing the future generation of vehicles, covering the ICE and EV car parc.
The Expo was officially opened on Thursday the 7th of April by Senator Deborah O’Neill, a long-time supporter of the aftermarket industry and the campaign for mandatory data sharing. Senator O’Neill was joined by Mark Pedder – AAAA Board Chairman, Penni Donato – Managing Director of Allin Towbars, and myself. It was a thrill to cut the ribbon to open the show and watch the large group of visitors who had gathered at the entry, head in to explore what was on offer.
Over 270 of the industry’s leading brands exhibited at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Center, showcasing the latest vehicle repair and servicing equipment, parts, tools and accessories, new technology and trends.
The Expo is also where the industry celebrates and recognizes excellence in the automotive aftermarket industry across a wide range of award categories. Taking place on Thursday evening of the Expo, the Australian Auto Aftermarket Awards banquet was a record-breaking event, with 888 industry guests enjoying an unforgettable evening at Crown’s Palladium to celebrate the magnificent achievements of industry champions and innovators.
The Expo had no shortage of entertainment for visitors across three days, including the new 4WD Innovation Zone, appearances by many of the biggest names in Australian motorsport, supercar champions, race car displays, tool and equipment demonstrations, simulators, prizes and giveaways to some lucky workshop owners and technicians.
Opening to the public on Saturday alongside our trade visitors was a new initiative, which added an exciting vibe and allowed us to showcase the best of the industry to the next generation of automotive technicians. Seeing young attendees utterly enthralled by the stands and demonstrations and hearing their commitment to joining our pool of talent in years to come was very uplifting.
I want to thank everyone involved in making this Expo one to remember. Our exhibitors, visitors, industry experts who presented across the weekend, the IEC event team, the AAAA Board, the AAAA team and everyone in our industry who has supported the AAAA and the Expo. I’d like to acknowledge the support of Auto Aftermarket Expo Major Sponsor Repco, and Collision Repair Expo Major Sponsor SAPE Group, and all of our valued partners and sponsors who helped us run this amazing industry event. We are already looking forward to 2024.
In closing, we hope you enjoy reading this special Expo review edition of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Magazine which features a comprehensive wrap up of all the Expo action.