As the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) grows every year, so does the number of international attendees and exhibitors showcasing the latest products, services and technology. More than 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals from 135 countries are projected to be in Las Vegas during the event in 2018.
Whether you want to export to global markets or connect with the import community, AAPEX provides opportunities for you to reach the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry. These events and programs make AAPEX the best platform for companies looking to connect with industry executives, to create business relationships and to expand business opportunities in international markets.
In this blog, Ben Brucato, executive director, AASA Overseas Automotive Council (OAC), Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), and Angela Chiang, director, international affairs, Auto Care Association, discuss the services and opportunities for international attendees at AAPEX.
AAPEX is huge, with 5,500 exhibits on both floors of the Sands Expo. What services are available to international attendees to assist them in exploring the trade show floor?
Ben Brucato: This year, the OAC is offering concierge show floor tours for the delegations being escorted by the U.S. Commercial Service for a more “hands-on” experience and also to pre-schedule visits with the exhibitors.
In addition, the AAPEX International Buyer Center, sponsored by Brake Parts Inc, is the central meeting place for international delegates attending AAPEX. Located in the Venetian, Casanova Room 501, the center offers translators, light refreshments, meeting rooms, computer stations and show staff to help answer any questions.
Angela Chiang: U.S. manufacturing exhibitors have the opportunity to meet with international buyers and distributors through Auto Care Association’s business-to-business International Matchmaking Program at AAPEX. Through a partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, the trade promotion arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, this year’s program has attracted buyers from 15 countries and is an excellent opportunity for U.S. suppliers to enter or increase presence in international markets. Past participants have reported tremendous success with export sales and/or establishing new partnerships.
What networking events at AAPEX are focused on international attendees?
Brucato: The OAC and AASA are excited and focused on making AAPEX the place to be for international buyers with tailored programs to help them navigate the show and grow their business. It is hard not to talk about the OAC when discussing the international aftermarket and the famous Global Reception held on Tuesday night, Oct. 30, at Madame Tussauds in the Venetian. This reception attracts nearly 600 attendees from all over the globe.
Chiang: For businesses engaged in import nameplate products and services, the Auto Care Association’s Import Vehicle Community hosts its popular Fabulous Networking Reception also on Tuesday night, Oct. 30, in the Venetian. This event is a unique opportunity for companies to engage with industry executives of the import community, the fastest growing segment of the aftermarket industry. The event has grown to more than 800 attendees.