Advanced registrations for the International Tire Expo in Las Vegas are running ahead of last year, when the annual event drew approximately 4,500 attendees, according to the Tire Industry Association, the show's sponsor.
Slated for Nov. 5-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event will mark the first combined show effort since the former Tire Association of North America and the International Tire & Rubber Association merged in July, forming the TIA.
As of Sept. 10, more than 2,500 persons had pre-registered for the event, according to Ross Kogel, TIA executive vice president. He pointed out that attendees can save money by pre-registering before the Sept. 27 deadline.
The cost is $10 for those pre-registering online and $20 for those doing so by fax. After that date, the price of registration rises to $50 per person, which can make for a considerable difference in cost for companies paying for multiple attendees.
Ironically, Mr. Kogel said, the greatest flurry of advanced registrations for the show typically has occurred on the day following the pre-registration deadline, when registrants are too late to take advantage of the pre-registration discount.
He said show organizers still are finalizing arrangements for the headline entertainment and other special attractions. However, TIA has announced a battery of Goodyear-sponsored ITE workshops known as ``Tires at Two'' seminars and scheduled from 2-3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 5, through Thursday, Nov. 7.
No seminars are slated for Friday, Nov. 8, the final day, because of the show's early closing at 4 p.m. Otherwise, trade show hours on Tuesday through Thursday will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Topics for the Tuesday afternoon seminars include:
* ``Successful Tire Dealers Share Their Secrets,'' moderated by industry veteran Don Olson, founder of the former Don Olson Tire in Clearwater, Fla., and featuring a panel of business leaders from across North America. Panelists will include dealers Bob Dabrowski of Tire Warehouse Central, Keene, N.H.; Jerry White of White Tire Supply, Beaumont, Texas; Ron Lautzenheiser of College Tire Inc., Fort Collins, Colo.; Bob Purcell of Purcell Tire & Rubber Co., Potosi, Mo.; Paul Swentzel of S&S Tire Inc., Lexington, Ky.; and Dave Komaromi of Tires To Go Inc., West Sacramento, Calif.
* ``Improving Retail Tire Store Bottom Line Profits,'' with Norman Gaither of Norman Gaither & Asssociates;
* ``Smart Retailing for the Tire and Automotive Store,'' with Eddy Kay of the Eddy Kay Group; and
* ``The TREAD Act: A Government Update,'' with TIA government affairs specialists Becky MacDicken and Roy Littlefield.
Topics for the Wednesday afternoon seminars include:
* ``Successful Tire Dealers Share Their Secrets,'' moderated by Mr. Olson and featuring a panel of tire dealers including John Kauffman of Kauffman Tire Inc., Atlanta, Ga.; Paul Hyatt of Superior Tire Corp., Toronto, Ontario; Terry Westhafer of Central Tire Corp., Verona, Va.; Chris Wyborny of Ramona Tire & Service Centers, Hemet, Calif.; Charles Creighton of Colony Tire Corp., Edenton, N.C.; and Phil Raben of Raben Tire, Evansville, Ind.
* ``Tires of the Future: Impact on Your Business,'' hosted by Bill Hopkins of Goodyear;
* ``Retail Tire Advertising: A Common Sense Approach,'' with tire industry veteran and communications specialist Jim Pascover of Memphis, Tenn.
Topics for the Thursday afternoon seminars include:
* ``Selling with Integrity: How to be a True Professional,'' with Beau Hamilton of the Hamilton Group; and
* ``The Tire Industry's Insurance Market: What You Need to Know for Your Business,'' co-hosted by a panel of tire industry insurance executives.
This year's ITE trade show will be held in new and expanded quarters on the lower level of the Convention Center's South Hall, which offers 465,000 square feet of floor space. To date, approximately 131 companies have reserved space in the ITE section of the giant SEMA show, which is expected to sprawl over a whopping 2 million square feet and host more than 1,420 exhibitors.
TIA President Steve Disney said the updated convention hall facilities will make the ITE show even more attractive for attendees. ``We are always looking for new ways to upgrade our conferences and trade shows. This move to the south hall will help,'' Mr. Disney said.
Meanwhile, the association also has scheduled three ``special events'' that include the:
* Gala Reception, to be held on Monday, Nov. 4, at the Harley Davidson Cafe, prior to the opening of the show;
* Hall of Fame Breakfast, on Tuesday, Nov. 5, and featuring a keynote address by Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to successfully climb Mount Everest, plus this year's inductions into the Tire Industry Hall of Fame. The Tire Dealer Humanitarian Award also will be presented at that session by Tire Business; and
* Breakfast With the President, with presentations by Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. CEO Tom Dattilo and TIA's incoming and outgoing presidents.
Those planning to attend the expo, which is part of the huge Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week, may obtain registration materials for the show, hotels and special events by telephoning TIA's ``Fax-on-Demand'' service at (888) 889-7391 and requesting document No. 1080.