As we approach September it means that in a matter of days I will be boarding a plane and flying to the next IWFC show and installation competition! Don’t be fooled by the title the IWFC show is rooted with Paint Protection Film and not just window tint or flat glass. The IWFC is a 4-day trade show that bounces between the west coast, east coast and central United States each year in a different area.
The IWFC show consists of industry professionals from all around the world, hence the international title in the name. People from as far away as Asia, Russia, the UK, and even Jamaica come to the show! Typically the show is hosted in convention centers and occupies a few hauls as well as other ballrooms for guest speakers and meetings. The show is focused around the automotive and flat glass industry. On the automotive side, they have window tint, paint protection film, and glass repair. On the architectural side, it is focused on industrial window tint. Basically, it’s a trade show solely focused on window films and paint protection films.
Inside the main trade show floor, there is always three corals housing 10 plus cars. One coral is for the Paint Protection Film installation competition, another coral is for the window tint competition and the last houses cars for the glass repair competition. As primarily a paint protection film installer I only compete in the clear bra category. Every year the show is gaining more and more traction as more people from around the world catch word of it and come to test their skills against other installers from around the world.
This is always a great time competing against other people from around the world in your respective professions. 2018 will mark my fourth year in a row competing in the Paint Protection Film division. In the PPF class, we are always broken up into “heats” and then the top scoring installers from each heat are chosen for the select group of finalists. In our heats, we are given 55 minutes to install a partial hood with wrapped edges, fenders and mirror caps. In the final, we are given 85 minutes to install a full clear bra bumper kit.
Judging is based off a whole list of things. Its funny cause anytime I talk to people about the competition the first thing they always ask me is “what are you judged on?”. The easy answer is EVERYTHING! The judging panel is comprised of a team of 3 industry professionals from some of the industries largest Paint Protection Film manufactures. For 2018 we will have Alex from XPEL, Jaime from premium shield and Jacob from Suntek. They literally go in the vehicle coral with grease pens and flashlights to pick apart every aspect of your install. The three main categories are cleanliness of the vehicle, edging, and quality of application.
Cleanliness of the vehicle would apply to whether or not you wiped the vehicle down after your Paint Protection Film install and if there’s any trash left out. Edging has to do with alignment to edges, uniformity and any areas of Paint Protection Film that are lifting or peeling. The quality of install category applies to bubbles, scratches, lift lines or stretch marks, contamination under the film and silvering of the adhesive. Needless to say, there are a lot of possible points to lose and time is not on your side!
This will be my fourth consecutive year competing in this competition. I am the only person in competition history to place 2nd or 1st three years in a row. In 2015 I got second in Reno Nevada. 2016 brought me a first-place medal and the title of “Worlds Best Paint Protection Film Installer” in San Antonio. in 2017 we competed in West Palm Beach Florida and I was able to capture another second-place medal! For 2018 we are headed back to San Antonio TX and I am hoping its good to me once more! This year will also be a big year because I am competing for XPEL! XPEL Ultimate Plus has won my heart over and I am hoping to bring a medal home with the XPEL team that’s welcomed me in like a long lost family member! If I pull this off I will be the only competitor in competition history to place for 2 separate film manufactures!
All I can do is give it my absolute best! I think about these events every single day! Every day I perform clear bra installations I am thinking about that year’s competition! Its always a great trip and I have so much fun competing against the best from around the world!
Stay tuned for a blog about how it goes down the last week of September!
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