21 Jun 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

Doors open for first day of UK Garage and Bodyshop Event

The UK Garage and Bodyshop Event 2024 (UKGBS) opens its doors at the NEC Birmingham today (June 5) — and the next generation of automotive professionals will be in the spotlight, along with the presentations, products, activities and expo stands.

UKGBS has announced its ‘SHOW MAKER’ initiative for the two-day event, as part of its participation in School of Thought’s ambassador programme, highlighting the event’s commitment to supporting the automotive professionals of the future.

As part of this initiative, UKGBS will host a 10-strong group of enthusiastic work experience students from the region’s Sandwell College.

The group will be involved in a variety of tasks and activities throughout the event, providing them with invaluable hands-on experience and exposure to the industry’s leading exhibitors.

Automotive professionals are being urged to take time out to talk to the students and share their expertise with the group. Each student will receive a UKGBS certificate of participation to include on their CVs.

Each participating student will be easily recognisable in their SHOW MAKER t-shirts.

Industry updates

Meanwhile, Jon Douglass, head of member services for the Independent Garage Association, is a featured speaker on the first day of UKGBS.

Douglass will discuss latest industry updates in a session designed to equip attendees with valuable insights and practical information that can enhance their operations and keep them at the forefront of the industry.

The chief executive of the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation, Mark Field, has said events such as UKGBS not only focus on community and collaboration, but also drive the industry forward in times of rapid change and technological advancement.

“It’s important to recognise that the industry is on a journey, one of discovery and trade events are playing a major part,” Field said.

“The life of a small business owner can be lonely, and that state of isolation can leave us unwilling to venture out, to try new things. Therefore meeting at trade events, a community of likeminded people that share the same challenges and opportunities on a daily basis, has perhaps never been as important to our working lives.”

New campaign 

The IAAF is also launching a campaign at UKGBS that aims to clarify the rights and freedoms of independent repairers in servicing and repairing vehicles, particularly in the context of the updated Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MV-BEO).

Industry professionals and vehicle owners are being urged to follow IAAF social media channels for more information and updates.

Separately, HELLA has signed up as a partner sponsor for the Automechanika Birmingham Garage Awards 2024, being hosted by the IAAF at the NEC’s Gallery Restaurant on June 5, adjacent to UKGBS.