As the dust settles on the Keystone Automotive Operations BIG Show at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas, the company says the attendance numbers support the claim that this year’s show was bigger and better than years previous.
“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 [there was] more to do than any previous BIG Show. We were thrilled with the response we got.”
Keystone says this year’s event was “supersized” in part by combining what had traditionally been a two-show format. Having more exhibitors, trailers and deals complemented the show’s new features, including a keynote address from Eric Qualman, concert by Tim Montana, vehicle reveal from Raybestos and some special guest appearances, topped by the 1968 Mustang Bullitt featured in Steve McQueen’s movie of the same name.
“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, the company rolled out new technologies that jobbers could use in their business to improve sales, operational efficiencies and customer service. Digital price tags that allow on-the-fly control of what prices are displayed in the store was a hit with attendees. Virtual reality (VR) retailing gave guests the chance to test drive VR in a store where product pop-ups appear as the user tours the aisles. Mobile checkout gave users a real hands-on experience and showed 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 that better enable any merchant or installer more options for capturing online sales and channeling consumer traffic back to the stores. Parts Via connects suppliers and jobbers in a unique online transaction environment. The organic traffic that the supplier generates can now be leveraged to create sales for the local jobber. Keystone says it connects the dots while providing some of the fastest delivery options to consumers picking up in store available in the market.
The BIG Show will be back in Texas next year.