WCAF 2019

Report From The Classrooms

Another WCAF is in the books, marking what is easily my 50th trip to Las Vegas. Most of these trips have been for business since this is the convention capital of our country. WCAF celebrated its 20th year! The timeline posted behind the registration desk reminded me that I had attended and taught in every Las Vegas venue used by WCAF over those 20 years. This year marked the end of yet another location – the Paris Hotel – which has been the host for the past 5 years. Next year, the national conference moves on to the Rio and leaves the ‘strip.’

I know my viewpoint won’t be shared by many of the vendors attending the show (who need large crowds to be profitable), but the classes I taught this year were full of many enthusiastic and eager attendees. The industry is changing; younger shop owners are replacing many of the aging generation that saw the heydays of the past and the drastic downturn over the last several years.

From a teacher’s point of view, it is great to have the opportunity to share with so many who are starting out and are open to doing business in more creative ways. There seems to be a higher understanding of marketing strategies and business practices which lead to growth and profit. It was often difficult to leave the room after a class as many attendees lined up to ask more personal questions or request follow up information. We are still digging out from the barrage of emails and requests for our consulting programs.

It is exciting to see that the industry will carry on in the hands of so many new shop owners. I’m already looking forward to seeing many of the new friends I made this year in 2020. If you did not attend the show this year, make it a priority next January. I think you will be pleased with the quality of classes and the new excitement level being added by so many new members of our industry.

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