The Parts Alliance’s Winter Trade Show returned to Sandy Park, bringing suppliers and customers the chance to mingle and do business in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
The invitation-only trade event, which smashed all previous attendance records, took place on Thursday 22 November, playing host to around 800 visitors from over 600 Parts Alliance customers from all across the South West.
In total 60 supplier stands were situated across two conference suites, representing the huge breadth of equipment, tooling and leading parts brands available through the UK buying group’s branch network.
Whilst some exhibitors had exclusive Winter Trade Show ‘Black Friday’ deals for attendees to take advantage of, others focused on helping independent garages ensure they maximise emerging revenue opportunities.
ZF Services’ showcased new automatic transmission service kits and training support to stop garages ‘turning work away’. Bosch meanwhile aimed to ‘future proof’ independent garages with ADAS capability.
As garage staff flooded in after work to enjoy food and refreshments lots took time out from thronging aisles to listen to technical talks from Comma Oil, Delphi and Schaeffler.
Between talks came on-stage interviews with special guests Car SOS presenter Fuzz Townshend and three-time BTCC Champion Matt Neal, with both staying on for autographs and photos.
Adam Solly, from Cleveland Garage in Dawlish said: “This is the first time I’ve been to a trade show but GSF Car Parts invited me and I heard Fuzz Townshend would be here too!
“It’s great to meet the people behind all of the big brands and see some new kit: I’m tempted to invest in some tracking gear.”
Nick Cross from Central Garage Paulton in Bristol added: “We’ve already gained a bit of technical knowledge by speaking to the manufacturers here and listening to the speakers on the stage.
“It’s also good to meet and speak to other mechanics too, do a bit of networking and share a few stories.”
Garages came down after work, with most staying right through until the conclusion of the prize draw just before 10pm, leaving suppliers and staff at The Parts Alliance to reflect upon another successful event.
“This was our third Winter Trade Show at Sandy Park, and the event continues to go from strength to strength,” said Simon Moore, Head of Marketing at The Parts Alliance.
“I’d like to thank the staff who organised the event, as well as the suppliers for their continued support, and all the garage customers who took the time out of their busy working weeks to attend.”
The Parts Alliance say feedback from suppliers added up to ‘comfortably six figures’ worth of business directly from the show, in the form of sales on the night and a wealth of leads.
Next year’s events campaign is expected to build upon 2018’s success, which also saw a Spring event held back in April in Droitwich Spa attract big numbers.
For more information on The Parts Alliance, please visit www.thepartsalliance.com.