Did you know that each year the body shop industry holds an international conference? Operated by the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium, the event functions as both a conference and networking event to discuss all aspects of the collision repair industry. The next conference, the 2015 Global Summit, was announced earlier this month and will feature a number of prominent speakers on a wide range of topics, including opportunities in growing markets and how to meet the demands of Generation Y.

So why have conferences like these? There are plenty of reasons they are beneficial to the industry and, ultimately, to our collision repair Tucson clients. The positive effects of these events manage to work its way to consumers. Since the primary audience of the IBIS Global Summit are managers and directors of collision repair businesses and related industries, it allows them to gain additional insight on the state of the business and learn how to translate these benefits to consumers.

One of the panel topics our collision repair Tucson shop finds more interesting is the last one of the conference, titled “Generation Y and Digitalization.” Generation Y or Millennials, as they are often called, have been profiled, analyzed, and discussed to no end by various publications in recent years. This is due to the potential effects the generation has on the economy, politics, cultural movements, and plenty of other areas of our current and future world environment. Generation Y, estimated to be the largest since the Baby Boomers, has also been predicted to be the generation that may potentially change the auto industry, including collision repair Tucson shops like ours.

Over the last few years, a number of reports were released that stated members of Generation Y prefer to live without a car, with a significant number even admitting they prefer not to drive. The age group is not only less likely to drive, an estimated 25% may not bother getting a driver’s license. Speculations are still rising as to why this is the case and whether this may permanently impact the future of the auto industry (and collision repair Tucson shops like us) since the number estimates change frequently.

However, what about those Millennials who do drive and do own vehicles? What changes is the auto industry making to reach a different generation and create products that appeal to their unique experiences and worldviews? This is a topic that may be discussed at the IBIS Global Summit and since the title includes “digitalization,” we can be safe in assuming it may be related to integrating technology into current products and marketing techniques. Other than adding new features into vehicles, some suggest including more social media outlets to reach potential and current consumers. Others suggest creating mobile apps to assist in selling, maintenance, or collision repair to increase accessibility.

Whatever direction the speakers decide to take the topic at the IBIS Global Summit, our collision repair Tucson shop is excited about the possibilities for growth in the industry.