Editor's Notes: Out From Behind Our Desks

Editor’s Notes: Out From Behind Our Desks

Business travel in June took the TechShop team to Maryland for the TEDA show, and to Orlando, FL, for both the ISN Tool Dealer Expo and a media event for Ingersoll Rand (IR). sean donohue, jennifer clements and doug herbert

Promoting the magazine is part of my job, but as editor of TechShop (as well as my other responsibilities at Babcox), I’m most often found in my (windowless) office, at the computer. So, getting out from behind my desk for trips like these has proved beneficial in so many ways. Meeting our readers and the people behind the ads you see in each issue of the magazine helps us bring you more new tool and equipment information.

A recent Forbes survey of 760 business executives showed that executives expressed an overwhelming preference for face-to-face meetings, with more than eight out of 10 saying they like in-person contact more than virtual. While I’m a big proponent of e-mailing, I agree with these executives that meeting customers and readers face-to-face is really the best way to conduct business.

The 16th annual TEDA (Tool and Equipment Distributors Association) Vendor Advisory Meeting provided a great opportunity to meet with distributors one-on-one. This year, according to TEDA President Glen Pratt, there were 162 registrations, with more than 200 private conferences scheduled. President’s Awards were given to Electronic Specialties, Equus, FJC, GearWrench, Hansen Global, Legacy, Lisle Corp., Lock Technology, Schumacher Electric and Titan Star Asia-USA.

At the ISN show, Ingersoll Rand hosted DJ Copp at the company's booth.
When IR was developing its new Hammerhead Impactool, the company engineers and product managers got out from behind their desks and listened to the voice of the customer. Their field research and focus groups helped them find out why techs use the tools that they do, the way that they do, and what is needed for a more productive solution. Through this personal research they developed an exciting, new tool.

Business travel often is interspersed with fun events as well. For example, a golf scramble at the TEDA event led to some friendly competition with another tool magazine’s representative. My team of Marissa Garcia from National Electric, Glen Pratt from TEDA and Mark Pfleeger from JohnDow Industries had an off-day on the links, but a fun afternoon in the sun!

To add a little excitement to editors’ lives, IR took the media group to Orlando Speed World for a dragster ride and racing in a couple of Ford Mustangs. (See our Facebook page for more photos.) There we met drag racing legends Doug Herbert (shown with me and TechShop Regional Sales Manager Sean Donohue) and Roy Hill. Hearing some of their stories gave us a peek into their lives, and how the people they’ve met and worked with have affected their careers and lives.

At the ISN show, we met DJ Copp, (shown with me at right) who was at the IR booth changing tires in the blink of an eye! Copp started Over the Wall Crew to train students and professionals to become “over the wall” crew members for race teams. He also worked with a glove manufacturer and designed a work glove especially for pit crew members.

So, where can you go to learn about the latest tools and equipment, and get yourself out from behind your desk (or from under a car)?

The AAPEX and SEMA shows (Nov. 2-4 and Nov. 2-5 respectively) in Las Vegas are probably the most well-known shows. At last report, AAPEX exhibitor participation was up 18% over last year. If you go, be sure to check out the Car Care Fair and the Shop of Tomorrow. The Tool & Equipment vendors at both shows are grouped together so it’ll be easy to find the latest product information. Registration gets you into both shows; visit www.aapexshow.com or www.semashow.com.

And if you are in Vegas for those shows, be sure to stay for the AVI Training Conference Vegas, Nov. 4-5. This premier training and networking event provides live training with some of the most well-known instructors in the industry. Focused seminars bring you up to speed with the latest trends in topics such as hybrid technology and scope training. The vendor show floor will be open with live demonstrations of the newest technology and tools on the market. Visit http://aviconference.com/ for more information.

And if that’s not enough Vegas action for you, there’s also the third annual Automotive Service and Repair Week, sponsored by Automotive Service Association (ASA), which includes NACE, CARS and more. ASRW is scheduled for Oct. 10-13 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. CARS is a great event for automotive service professionals and features a high-quality educational lineup led by industry leaders, along with an exhibitor showcase of automotive service and repair related equipment, products and services. Visit www.CARSevent.com for more information.

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