Work Truck Show Defies Economy And Attracts An Increased Number Of Attendees

Not all shows are created equal… some are ok, some are good and some are great. The measurement of quality is based on the value the show delivers to the attendees, more than the service it provides the exhibitors. No show is good without quality exhibitors, but exhibitors spend the money to participate in a show because the attendees are industry people they want to meet.
The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) sponsors a convention and the Work Truck Show. This year it was held in Chicago at McCormick Place West from March 3-6. The Work Truck Show is probably one of my favorite for a number of reasons, one of which is that it runs one of the very best press rooms in the business. To a working editor this is important because it gives you a place to collect information, network, meet and interview industry personnel, connect with the office, gather press releases and check on activities that may be of interest to you for your readers.

The NTEA pressroom management and staff are first class. To my sincere and deep regret, I didn’t make it to this year’s show but I am going to give you some show related information as well as share with you some of the new products that were introduced.

More than 8,400 work truck industry professionals attended The Work Truck Show NTEA’s 45th Annual Convention. This represents an increase of 18.5 percent over The Work Truck Show 2008, and is the second largest turnout for this event in its 10-year history. At The Work Truck Show 2009, 490 exhibitors filled out the show floor that covered nearly 500,000 square feet with new vocational trucks, components and equipment.

“The fact that the Work Truck Show grew significantly during these exceptionally tough economic times is a testament to the value this event provides to NTEA manufacturer and distributor members, as well as to truck dealers, fleet managers and end-users,” said Jim Carney, NTEA executive director. “The NTEA Board of Trustees and staff work hard to continuously improve the Show and Convention in order to offer timely, relevant training sessions while also working directly with exhibitors to bring more cutting-edge new products to the event. As a result, the Work Truck Show has become the industry’s leading showcase for equipment innovation and education.

“The large number of attendees and new products at the show also reflect the resilience of our industry and the spirit of our members,” Carney continued. “Even in challenging economic times, business moves forward. The trucks and equipment exhibited at the Work Truck Show facilitate work across a wide range of industries, and it is most encouraging that more than 8,400 professionals came together to explore the latest developments from nearly 500 suppliers.”

Produced annually by the NTEA, the Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event. Verified attendance at The Work Truck Show 2009 was 8,449. In comparison, attendance at The Work Truck Show 2008, which was held in Atlanta, GA, was approximately 7,200. The largest turnout for any NTEA event was just over 9,000 at The Work Truck Show 2007 in Indianapolis.

The educational conference is a key component of the event. It began with a full day of well-attended Special Sessions on Tuesday, March 3 (Show floor opened March 4). Texas billionaire and alternative energy crusader T. Boone Pickens kicked off the popular Special Session: “Green Truck Summit,” with a keynote address outlining his plan for breaking America’s dependence on foreign oil.

The Special Session “Upfitting Equipment on 2010 Emission-compliant Truck Chassis” gave attendees the unique opportunity to hear and ask questions of experts from six leading chassis manufacturers about their 2010 emission-compliant chassis.

Other Special Sessions included “From Tactical to Practical: A Playbook for Identifying Profitability and Survivability” and the “Fleet Management Symposium.”

Attendees were delighted by the “dirty” stories told by Mike Rowe, host of the Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch, as he gave the keynote address at the President’s Breakfast and NTEA Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 5. Rowe also was applauded for his efforts to promote the value of a hard day’s work.

Other event highlights included:

Plans are well underway for next year. The Work Truck Show 2010 will be held in conjunction with the 46th Annual NTEA Convention March 9-12, 2010 (Show floor opens March 10) in America’s Center, St. Louis, MO.
Greg Sitek

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