I thought a trade show/conference for the appliance repair industry would be a waste of my time. Having just returned from the ASTI National Convention in San Antonio, I have to admit that I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I took a bunch of business classes and a couple technical classes. While I learned quite a bit in the classes, and got a lot of new ideas to try in my business, I was surprised to discover that the most valuable thing I took away was the support and friendships I formed with some of my peers.
I met Brian Taylor, who not only impressed me with his intelligence, he also had me rolling on the ground laughing with his dry sense of humor. I also met a few people that I had remembered from years past in Repairnet, like Bossman and Jay from ActionPro.
There were people from all aspects of this industry attending. At first, I felt a little insignificant compared to some of these folks who are running 5-10 techs, but there were also quite a few one and two men shops, as well as technicians employed by other people. By the end, I felt very warmly received, even by the most prestigious members of the UASA. It seemed like the board members in the white shirts were never too busy to talk to me and encourage me. Unexpectedly, the biggest thing I took away from this convention was the inspiration that I received from these people to make my business more successful and professional.
If you have the opportunity to attend one of these conventions, I highly recommend it. The price was $400 but they fed us at least ten meals over the course of five days, and there were several open bars and hospitality suites with free cocktails in the evenings. The meals and coffee and cocktails probably would have cost half the price of the convention, if one were to buy them on their own on a normal vacation and I got more than 20 hours in the classroom to boot!
Here’s a picture of me with Dean Landers and Paul MacDonald. You can tell just by looking at them, that they are squeezing all the juice out of life and I cannot express enough gratitude to them and everyone else I spoke to for their inspiration over the last week.
-Blue Streak Bob
(new member of UASA)