The venue proved to be the perfect setting with the tradeshow attracting more than 70 suppliers and the gala dinner more than 600 Capricorn team members, customers and shareholders. In the past, the venue used for the tradeshow has been restrictive in size, meaning that the number of suppliers/exhibitors was restricted not only in numbers but also in the size of the displays.
This year, however, there was really no restriction on exhibitors or the size of the booths, which meant that it was much easier to move around for the Capricorn members who, from all accounts, did appreciate the new venue.
All the suppliers had excellent displays with a lot of product on show plus, of course, competitions on offer as well as a lot of free marketing giveaways, as witnessed by the many show bags being carried out of the venue! Valvoline was awarded best display with Parts Plus always attracting good numbers on their booth with a blackjack table, complete with a professional croupier and a very attractive showgirl! Audi Centre of Parramatta displayed the coolest car at the show – this was an Audi R8, V10 valued at $400,000!
Capricorn visitors enjoyed refreshments and canapes during the four-hour tradeshow before sprucing up and moving into the ICC 5th floor hall for a fine dining experience. MC and Irish comedian Paul Martell did a fine job on the evening welcoming everyone, introducing the presenters and providing lots of stories and jokes in-between courses before the guests could dance the night away.
NSW and ACT Director and Capricorn Chairman Russel Becker announced the Capricorn results for the past financial year, and I must say they were very impressive. Highlights included group turnover of $1.6bn, NSW/ACT member purchases of $260m, total member returns of $25m in reward points and a fully franked dividend of 11 cents-per-share. In addition to the financial success there were five new suppliers welcomed into the Million Dollar Club (sales to Capricorn members exceeding $1 million) for the first time in 2017: Gilbert & Roach, MTQ (NSW), ASV European Auto Spares, Auto One Waitara and Audi Centre of Parramatta. During the year there were 656 new members welcomed into the Capricorn family and 29 new preferred suppliers.
CEO Greg Wall then took to the stage to talk about some of the new initiatives in Capricorn for members, including ‘The Workshop’, Capricorn vehicle videos, Capricorn service data and the shareholder portal. He thanked the Capricorn team, members and suppliers for another outstanding year of results and growth.
It seems that the Capricorn Society is the sleeping giant of the collision repair industry and events such as this only emphasise that fact. The panel side of their business continues its steady growth and with so many benefits flowing back to its members every collision repair operator owes it to their business to check out the many advantages of being part of such a successful cooperative. Congratulations to Capricorn on their outstanding results for 2017.
For more information, check out their website at www.capricorn.coop.