Among the changes at PAMA is a restructuring of the annual event. “We have parted ways with Cygnus and are now in control of our trade show,” board chairman Clark Gordon told AIN. “We are implementing regional events rather than national.”
According to Gordon, the first regional show will be held in Wichita from August 22-23. The format will be a Friday and Saturday event, with Friday dedicated to training for managers and Saturday for technicians. Regional shows will have a similar format to the old show and include career development programs, Olympics, networking, and vendor booths and sponsorship opportunities.
However, one old favorite might not appear in the show’s new format. “We’re probably not going to have the chili cook-off on a regional level, but we’ll still need to have some form of PAMA Foundation scholarship fund-raising event,” Gordon said. He said the chili cook-off was beginning to get expensive and complicated by health regulations and local venue restrictions on food service.
Gordon said one problem with a national show was it tended to draw directors of maintenance but budget and time restrictions often precluded line mechanics from attending. The hope is the new format will draw a wider audience. “One of the key elements is local chapter participation with the show itself,” Gordon said. “The local chapters will have a vested interest in the success of the show.”