Combining Two Shows Was a Success, Says Keystone
Keystone Automotive Operations‘ BIG Show attendance numbers exceeded expectations this year, according to the company.
“We had high expectations coming into the show, knowing that we had done everything we could to create the right mood and environment for our suppliers and customers,” said Bill Rogers, vice president and general manager of Keystone. “I don’t think we disappointed anyone. The floor was bigger. There were more suppliers, more attendees and more to do than any previous BIG Show. We were thrilled with the response we got.”
This year’s event was supersized in part by combining what had traditionally been a two-show format, according to the company. The increased number of exhibitors, trailers and deals complemented the show’s new features, like a keynote address from Eric Qualman, a concert by Tim Montana, a vehicle reveal from Raybestos and some very special guest appearances, topped by the 1968 Mustang Bullitt featured in Steve McQueen’s movie of the same name.
“It was the busiest show floor I’ve ever seen,” said Steve Kelley, vice president of sales at Extang. “Between watching Hank Robinson use a Dremel tool to engrave a truck and the money booth participants frantically grabbing cash by the handful, attendees had plenty to see and do. At times the show had a carnival-like vibe that was really fun to experience.”
“We have been attending the BIG Show for four years,” said Kevin Smith from Ken Garff Ford. “The 2018 BIG Show was the best one to date that we have attended. There were more vendors than ever, with very knowledgeable representatives, and fantastic buying opportunities. I recommend the BIG Show to everybody. It is a must attend for us each year.”
In its retail merchandising model store, Keystone Automotive Operations introduced new technologies that jobbers could use in their businesses to improve sales, operational efficiencies and customer service, according to the company. The new technology included digital price tags that allow on-the-fly control of what prices are displayed in the store; virtual reality retailing that gave guests the chance to test drive VR in a store where product pop-ups appear as the user tours the aisles; and mobile check-out technology that gave visitors a hands-on experience and showed them how easy and inexpensive the technology is to integrate into almost any store setting.
On the digital side of customer connectivity, the BIG Show also had new programs for capturing online sales and channeling consumer traffic back to the stores, according to the company. Parts Via connects suppliers and jobbers in an on-line transaction environment. The organic traffic that the supplier generates can now be leveraged to create sales for the local jobber.