IBISConnect launches with African triumph

The first IBISConnect simulcast was launched today by the International Bodyshop Industry Symposium and has been hailed a world-class, innovative virtual platform which delivered invaluable insight, data and business solutions for the global collision repair community.

While IBISConnect Africa 2020 was focused primarily on the continent’s regional markets, the worldwide audience was treated to the same high quality, relevant and thought-provoking presentations, interviews, panel discussions and networking opportunities that they would enjoy face-to-face at any of the in-person IBIS conferences.

The tone of today’s simulcast was set by Eric Devos, president of GiPA, who was joined in his opening seminar on the South African automotive aftermarket by Clear Strategy Company’s Martin Hendriksen and Brett Atkins, who provided data and insight concerning the country’s current situation in light of the coronavirus lockdown.

Following each session, IBIS Worldwide CEO Jason Moseley interviewed the speakers and panellists, and took questions from the global audience using the Slido Q&A facility.

Motor engineering training consultant and IAEA council member, Les Minton tackled the complex issue of the UK’s new salvage codes and what learnings there might be for African markets, while Tom Avon, repair performance manager at Admiral Group UK, talked about partnerships and co-operation as he looked at the future of vehicle repair management.

The morning session was followed by a coffee break during which lead sponsors Axalta and 3M conducted breakout sessions at their stands in the virtual expo hall. Other IBISConnect Africa partners, including Automotive Refinisher, GiPA, Automechanika Johannesburg, bodyshop magazine and WorldSkills were also present in the expo hall where visitors could connect via email, book a private meeting and browse video and printed content.

Following the break, Graeme Reid, programme executive from Lightstone, talked about Covid-19 as the “great disruption” and presented a series of economic indicators and forecasts for the region.

This was followed by Lucian Jantjies, national sales leader for Axalta Coating Systems South Africa, who introduced the brand’s approach to sustainability through innovation and low-energy technologies.

IBIS CEO Moseley then conducted a fascinating interview on skills, apprenticeships and education with Sandu Panduleni Kambala, WorldSkills Namibia gold-medallist in 2019, and Bajith Panday, MD of the British Council-funded Guru Group of Learning in Johannesburg.

To conclude the four-hour inaugural IBISConnect Africa simulcast, Moseley then took a deeper dive into the South African collision repair market in a comprehensive panel discussion with Ian Groat, publisher of Automotive Refinisher, and Steve Kessell, operations director at the Collision Repairers Association in South Africa.

All of the IBISConnect Africa 2020 video sessions and expo hall content will be available online from tomorrow (24 July 2020). To access it, use your existing login details or click here to register.