The Monaco Group Conference attracted 615 participants to Gatineau from February 3 to 5.
The event took place at the stylish Hilton Hotel in Lac-Leamy. The trade show was for VIP STOP and Automotive Service Xperts (ASX) shops as well as Pronto stores and a multitude of suppliers of this expert network of the automotive aftermarket.
The theme of the conference, “Let’s take up the challenge now!”, was chock-full of rich and informative content.
Presented in French on a rotating basis, workshops on crucial topics such as good management, safety, IT problem solving and training for electric vehicle maintenance attracted 290 participants. Passionate experts Philippe Bussières, Réjean Lortie and Pierre Henri, among others, led these workshops.
To better serve their expanding Ontario markets, the same workshops were presented in English to over 80 participants. With excellent speakers such as Alan Beech, Mark Lemay, and Richard Shumko captivating us all with their knowledge.
“We also had experts from specialized automotive products and services come in to talk to our members about the latest technology,” said Daniel Boyer, Marketing Director for the Monaco Group. “After a few years of not seeing each other in person, there’s no doubt that this update was greatly appreciated by attendees.”
In addition to the knowledge gained, a two-day trade show featuring automotive parts and service suppliers was also organized, with 85 booths featuring over 100 national brands. It was an opportunity not only to discover all the new products from these quality suppliers but also to take advantage of very attractive promotions exclusive to the event.
For Boyer, there is no doubt that this Conference has achieved its objectives. “It was fascinating to see the store managers and all the people from our shops get together and discuss during breaks. Getting together is also an opportunity to discuss our reality with our peers. This is one of the richness’s of this meeting. Our mission is to facilitate access to solutions that all members of our network need to grow their business. And this sharing of best practices is clearly a step in that direction.”
A buoyant market
All were elated to have their hopes validated that the automotive aftermarket is in a very promising place right now. People are keeping their cars longer, either because of economic uncertainty or simply because of the scarcity of new vehicles, and that’s great news for automotive aftermarket businesses.
Yvan Domingue, Vice President of the Monaco Group, spoke about this positive situation during his speech. He also took the opportunity to raise a glass in memory of the Group’s Founder, Ernesto Monaco, who passed away last December.
Lastly, we would be remiss to not mention the festive events of the conference. In this respect, participants were spoiled. Cocktails, gourmet dinners and a gala completed by a show tailored to the occasion by impersonator André-Philippe Gagnon.
The Monaco Group includes 201 mechanical shops under its banner and 100 auto parts stores in Quebec and Ontario. A remarkable delegation of these important players in the aftermarket industry came from all regions of these two provinces so as not to miss this great opportunity.
The next Monaco Group Conference will be held from February 3 to 10, 2024 in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic at the Dreams Macao.