In more “normal” times, right now, our team would be gearing up for one of our craziest weeks of the year: Industry Week in Las Vegas for the SEMA and AAPEX shows. It’s always a week that consists of long days, short nights, countless handshakes, and battling crowds to make it to your meeting on time.
Thanks to COVID-19, though, it’s fairly quiet around here—and not just because I’m isolated in a makeshift office to allow for social distancing in our building.
Really, this year’s Industry Week would’ve been our most hectic one yet, considering how much our company has grown and the segments we now cover. Earlier this summer, our parent company, 10 Missions Media, acquired Modern Tire Dealer and Auto Service Professional, which now has us covering the entire aftermarket. After starting as a fledgling collision repair publication (which eventual became FenderBender magazine) in 1999, we’ve transitioned into a media company that today also serves business leaders in the auto service, quick lube and tire dealer segments of the industry, along with a number of other products that reach those “specialty” folks in between.
It’s been quite the growth trajectory. At this point, we’re more than just publications. We have multimedia, live events, marketing services, digital elements, etc. The more we’ve grown, the more we’ve taken on, and the more we’ve learned about each different segment, we realized very quickly that most of the issues, concerns, strategies and success stories are all very similar, if not the same.
It’s become more and more glaring how, as each segment continues to specialize and focus more granularly because of shifting technology, marketplaces and outside pressures, that everyone has become more isolated. There’s an air of, “This is what we do, and we do it for this person.” Yes, specialization and focusing on your customers is critical to success, but it’s easy to lose sight of big picture needs and solutions. Something we will continue to push for, and pride ourselves on, is bringing those lessons from each industry segment together for the betterment of everyone.
That’s the idea behind our ADAPT: Automotive Technology Summit this coming May in Nashville. We want to bring the entire industry together to discuss the solutions to the industry’s most progressive and pressing technology trends. Our goal is to give you a seat at the table in discussing the future of this industry. The auto industry isn’t just the automakers and giant corporations deciding who wins, who loses and how you run your business. The independent shop services 75 percent of out-of-warranty vehicles on the road. This is not the OEM’s industry. This is your industry, and we’re all in this together.