ACC Annual Meeting 2024: Backstage Pass

This year, the Automotive Communications Council (ACC) is thrilled to invite you to our annual meeting in the vibrant city of Cleveland, Ohio. Themed “Backstage Pass,” this event promises to take you behind the scenes of the automotive aftermarket industry, showcasing the latest innovations, strategies, and insights from leading experts in the field.

Location: Cleveland, OH

Venue: Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade

Dates: May 21-23, 2024

Why Attend?

  • Networking Opportunities: Connect with marketing and communications professionals from across the automotive industry.
  • Innovative Sessions: Attend workshops and sessions led by industry experts, designed to inspire and educate.
  • Exclusive Insights: Gain behind-the-scenes access to the latest trends and strategies shaping the future of automotive communications.
  • Explore Cleveland: Discover the city’s rich musical heritage and visit iconic locations like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Conference Highlights

  • Keynote Speakers: Hear from influential leaders in the automotive and communications industries.
  • Interactive Workshops: Participate in hands-on sessions that will enhance your skills and knowledge.
  • Networking Events: Build valuable connections at our various networking events and social gatherings.
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ACC Backstage Pass '24 Annual Conference - Register for the Conference

Register for ACC Backstage Pass '24 Now!

Early bird registration is available through March 15, 2024. The earlier you register, the more you save!

Save $100
Through March 15, 2024



Membership plus Conference Registration


Main Event for Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Time Artist Location Set List
3:00 P.M. Hotel Check-in Hyatt Regency Cleveland at The Arcade
6:00 P.M. VIP Pre-Party Welcome Reception Euclid Rotunda in the Arcade

Main Event for Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Time Artist Organization Set list
8:00 A.M. Shawn Collins, ACC President EXTEND GROUP President’s Breakfast: Recognizing Past ACC Presidents
9:00 A.M. Shawn Collins, ACC President EXTEND GROUP Sound Check: Welcome to ACC Backstage Pass ’24
9:10 A.M. Patrick Cronin, ACC Vice President NTN Bearing Corporation Backstage Pass: ACC Rock & Roll Mix Tape 
9:20 A.M. Shawn Collins, ACC President
Patrick Cronin, ACC Vice President
How’s Business? Rocking and Rolling with Transformative Change
10:00 A.M. Break
10:10 A.M. Mark Phillips, Editor and Video Host  Aftermarket Intel

Navigating The World Stage: A Journalist’s Backstage Pass To International Aftermarket Shows

Join Mark Phillips, editor and video host of Aftermarket Intel, for an insightful journey as an independent journalist covering major international trade shows in the automotive aftermarket. From the bustling halls of Shanghai and Taipei to the historic venues of Frankfurt and Bologna, this presentation will take you backstage to uncover the unique challenges and exhilarating experiences encountered behind the scenes.

11:00 A.M. Stacey Miller, Vice President of Communications AutoCare Association Backstage Pass: Success in Automotive Communications
NOON Out to Lunch
1:00 P.M. Matt Buchholz, Chief Executive Officer MotoRad C-Suite Perspective on Marketing 
2:00 P.M. Break
2:10 P.M.

Kathleen Long, Chief Revenue Officer

RepairPal C-Suite Perspective: Partner / Shop initiatives & Team Building
3:10 P.M. Chris Reynolds, Professor of Automotive Technology Lewis & Clark Community College Backstage Pass: Training / Technician Education / Shop Perspective
4:10 P.M Patrick Cronin, ACC Vice President NTN Bearing Corporation Curtain Call: Close-out Day 1
Break before activity
5:30 P.M. TBD Afterparty: Activity/Dinner to be announced

Main Event for Thursday, May 23, 2024

Time Artist Organization Set List
7:00 A.M. Networking Breakfast
8:00 A.M. Shawn Collins, Current ACC President EXTEND GROUP Sound Check: What’s New with ACC
8:30 A.M.

Shawn Collins, ACC President


Bridge: ACC Impact Award Presentation

8:40 A.M. Patrick Cronin, ACC Vice President NTN Bearing Corporation Interlude: Locks and Keys
8:50 A.M. Lauren McCullough, Founder & CEO Tromml

Overdrive: Understand the Impact of AI on Automotive Marketing

This interactive presentation will help demystify AI and its importance for marketing and communication professionals in the automotive industry. Discover how AI and machine learning can transform marketing strategies, including enhancing supporting content creation, improving customer interactions, and unlocking valuable insights. This session will also introduce discussion into the impacts of Search Generated Experiences (SGE) on SEO and SEM.

9:50 A.M. Break    
10:00 A.M. Jacki Lutz, Director of Content AutoCare Association

In the Groove: Personal Branding and Employee Advocacy as a Marketing Tool

In today’s competitive landscape, personal branding and employee advocacy have emerged as powerful strategies for enhancing company reputation and reaching target audiences more effectively. This session explores how individuals can cultivate their personal brand to align with corporate values and how companies can leverage their employees’ networks and credibility as a potent marketing tool.

Session Objectives:

  1. Understand the fundamentals of personal branding and its impact on professional growth.
  2. Learn how to align personal branding with company objectives to foster authenticity and trust.
  3. Explore methods for encouraging employee advocacy and the benefits it brings to organizational marketing efforts.
  4. Discuss case studies of successful personal branding and employee advocacy initiatives.
11:00 A.M. Chris Messer
Peter Bulmer
Endeavor Business Media
Turn Key Media
Medley: Automotive Media Publisher Panel
12:00 P.M. Out to Lunch  
1:00 P.M. Intro: Jim Merle, Vice President
CoModerator: Jim Merle and Doug Kaufman
Show Owners: Andy Fiffick, President/CEO
Complete Car Care, Bob Stout, Owner
Johnny Weber, Owner

Babcox Media

Fuerst Auto
Weber Automotive Service

Jam Session: Automotive Shop Owner Panel
2:30 P.M. Break
2:40 P.M. Catherine Wasner The Next Page

On Tour: What’s the Plan? Setting (and Achieving) Goals

You can’t reach your goals if you don’t set reasonable goals.  Some goals are small and some goals take many steps to achieve, this session will walk through the process of achieving goals, both simple and complex.  Continual progress checks and goal adaptation are part of the road to achieving goals, don’t let the bumps distract you.  Doing something someday is not a plan, setting long-term goals and monitoring progress will help you get there.



ACC Backstage Pass '24 Annual Conference - Conference Accommodations

Stay in the Heart of Rock & Roll

Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade

Immerse yourself in the rhythm of Cleveland by staying at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade, a hotel that harmoniously blends historic charm with modern luxury. Just as a backstage pass grants exclusive access to the world behind the curtains, our chosen venue provides a unique gateway to the city’s vibrant energy and musical legacy. Nestled in the iconic Arcade, the hotel is a masterpiece of architecture with a stunning skylight and intricate ironwork, reminiscent of the grandeur of rock & roll’s golden age. Each room is a haven of comfort, ensuring you are well-rested and ready to rock each day of the conference. With top-notch amenities and a prime location, you are steps away from Cleveland’s famous attractions, including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Embrace the spirit of the city and the theme of our gathering by making your stay at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade a central part of your ACC Annual Meeting experience. Book your room now and secure your spot in the heart of the action!

Event Lodging Summary:

  • Event: Automotive Communication Council Annual Conference 2024
  • Dates: Tuesday, May 21, 2024, through Friday, May 24, 2024
  • Last Day to Book: Tuesday, April 30, 2024
  • Address: 420 Superior Avenue East Cleveland, Ohio, 44114 United States

The Hyatt Regency Cleveland At The Arcade is offering a special ACC Annual Conference rate of $160 USD per night.

ACC Backstage Pass '24 Annual Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our '24 Sponsors!

Platinum Sponsor

Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to become the Platinum Sponsor of the ACC Mixed Tape ’23 Conference! Your company will receive prominent logo placement, be the only sponsor mentioned in all conference press releases, and host the official conference reception. Register below today to secure your Platinum ACC Mix Tape ’23 Sponsorship!

Silver Sponsors

Become a Silver Sponsor of the ACC Mixed Tape ’23 Conference and increase your brand visibility through website placement, promotional emails, and social media promotion. Showcase your company’s generosity by providing a giveaway valued at $250 to be drawn during the conference. Secure your Silver Sponsorship today and make a lasting impression at the premier training and networking event for marketing and communication professionals in the automotive aftermarket.

ACC Backstage Pass '24 Annual Conference - Sponsorship Opportunities

Become a Backstage Pass Sponsor Today!

Sponsor the 2024 ACC conference to connect with and promote your brand to our dynamic membership of marketing and communications professionals representing automotive aftermarket suppliers, distributors, retailers, and service providers.

Your participation as a sponsor also supports ACC’s efforts to provide a unique learning and professional development forum to ensure our industry’s continued growth.

Join ACC

Join ACC

Welcome to the Automotive Communications Council (ACC), a forum for learning and professional development focused on current and emerging marketing practices, and the longest-running organization in the auto care industry.   Along with the opportunities and benefits that membership provides, we believe you will find the programs and activities innovative and a reflection of the shared interests and ideas of the membership.

Questions About Joining ACC?