MTE 2019 Wrap-up
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
By Prentice St. Clair, CD-SV, RT
Tradeshow & Education Committee Chair
The 18th annual Mobile Tech Auto Recon Expo (MTE) took place January 10-12 in Orlando, Florida at the Orange County Convention Center. The Convention is the preeminent annual event for the International Detailing Association (IDA) and its members.
MTE continues to be a whirlwind of activity that includes numerous educational opportunities, certification events, plenty of vendor booths to visit, old friends to catch up with and new friends to meet, and dozens of formal and informal meetings.
There were at least 130 exhibitors—many more than last year—of numerous automotive detailing and reconditioning supplies. “Education Day” was returned to Thursday this year. It featured well over 50 seminars from industry leaders on virtually every aspect of automotive reconditioning techniques, tools, and business management. The keynote address was offered this year by television personality Dennis Gage, who produces and hosts the 21-season My Classic Cars with Dennis Gage.
The IDA at MTE
Thanks in part to the numerous and generous IDA member sponsors, as well as the countless hours of IDA Directors, Committee Chairs, and members, Mobile Tech Expo was once again a success for our Association, its members, and detailers in general.
Left to Right: IDA Event & Education Coordinator, Cara Anderson, CMP; IDA Tradeshow & Event Committee Chair, Prentice St. Clair, CD-SV, RT; and IDA Certification Specialist, Alex Hazard
The IDA booth served as a hub of activity on the tradeshow floor. The booth was staffed by IDA Event & Education Coordinator, Cara Anderson, CMP, as well as IDA member volunteers who generously gave their time in shifts over the course of the two-day expo. At least 21 new IDA members signed up! Thank you to Cara, whose excellent planning always makes this event a success for the IDA!
The IDA Tradeshow and Education Committee (headed by yours truly) organized one-and-a-half days of 10, one-hour seminars, with presentations made by industry leaders on multiple topics relating to the automotive detailing industry. All seminars were well-attended, filling each seminar with 35-100 detailers. Thanks to the following presenters, who generously gave their time so that all of us could receive new and exciting information about our industry:
- Paul Frasco, CD-SV and Vincent Macri, CD-SV
- Justin Labato, CD-SV, RT and Clint Hintz, CD-SV, RT
- Jim Lafaber, CD-SV
- Yvan Lacroix, CD-SV, RT
- Robert Wrasman, CD-SV, RT
- Rob Schruefer, CD-SV, RT
- Joseph DiFiore, CD-SV
- John Corinella, CD-SV
- Art Baca, CD-SV
- Prentice St. Clair, CD-SV, RT
In addition to the seminars, an IDA Certification Event – Phase I (CD) was held on Friday morning. This four-hour event allows a detailing technician the opportunity to complete all 10 of the IDA’s Certified Detailer Exams at one location. In all, a total of 23 detailers received their IDA Certified Detailer status. Additionally, we held an IDA Certification Event - Phase II (SV) on Saturday in the IDA Demo area of the tradeshow floor. This event provided an opportunity for those detailers who have already achieved Certified Detailer status to complete Phase II of the IDA Certification process. At the end of the day, 23 Certified Detailers received their Skills Validation. If you want to get your CD and/or SV at next year’s MTE, sign up early as space is always at a premium.
Alex Hazard, the new IDA Certification Specialist, was on hand for the event. "I am extremely excited to work alongside some of the most respected detailers in the industry today," he said. "As a Certification Specialist for the IDA, I look forward to assisting other individuals in cementing their credentials to better themselves and their businesses!"
And, of course, the highlight of MTE is the Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation. There were at least 175 detail industry representatives present, up 15% from last year. For those of us that remember having only a handful of people at the receptions in the early years of the Association, it is exciting to see the steady growth of this event each year.
Front row left to right: Mike Phillips, Tom Palancia, Sheryle Hazard, Bob Eichelberg, Jonathan Munsell, Justin Labato
Back row left to right: Mark Johnson, Rob Schruefer, Jim Goguen, Dan Baker, Bob Myers
Not pictured: DJ Patterson, Jason Rose
As we enjoyed sponsored food and a no-host bar, IDA Executive Director Sheryle Hazard presided over the events that included the swearing in of the 2019 IDA Board of Directors. These voluntary positions help guide the course of the IDA. IDA Officers for 2019 are Jonathan Munsell, CD, President; DJ Patterson, CD, VP of Operators; Mike Phillips, CD-SV, RT, VP of Suppliers; Dan Baker, CD, Treasurer; and Justin Labato, CD-SV, RT, Immediate Past President.
Keith Duplessie, CD-SV, RT gave the annual “State of the Industry” address, the highlight of which was the exciting announcement of the IDA’s effort to encourage the Department of Labor to add the category of “automotive detailer” to its list of recognized professions. IDA Committee Chairs each offered a quick synopsis of accomplishments in the last year and goals for 2019. And the really cool aspect of this meeting is always the presentation of the IDA Annual Awards. This year’s recipients are as follows:
- IDA Outstanding Service Award: Joe DiFiore, CD-SV, RT
- IDA Detail Shop of the Year Award: Perfection Plus Auto Detailing
- IDA Mobile Detailer of the Year Award: Kleen Car Wash
- IDA Supplier of the Year: American Detailer Garage
- IDA Detailer of the Year: Joab Flores, CD-SV
After 10 years of existence, it’s fantastic to realize that we have come from 12 original members to 1160 members; 127 Supplier Members; 57 countries; 3 International Chapters, with seven new International Chapters in the formation process. It is quite obvious that this Association is around for the long-haul and will only get bigger and better.
Stay tuned to the IDA newsletters, e-blasts, and Facebook postings, as the Association continues to improve its current programs while rolling out new programs to benefit members.
Next year’s Mobile Tech Expo will again be in Orlando, Florida from January 9-11, 2020. The initial location mentioned is Orange County Convention Center and stay tuned as this is finalized.
MTE has added another event this fall; MTE Las Vegas, September 5-7, 2019 at the South Point Hotel & Casino. For more information, visit https://mobiletechexpo.com/lasvegas/.