TopNews

Organizer: New NACV Truck Show Opened Strong

September 27, 2017

By David Cullen

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
The view of the Daimler Trucks North America booth from one of the meeting rooms above the show floor at the inaugural NACV Show. Photo: Evan Lockridge
The view of the Daimler Trucks North America booth from one of the meeting rooms above the show floor at the inaugural NACV Show. Photo: Evan Lockridge

ATLANTA – The numbers are not all in yet, but given preliminary figures and his own expert sense of how shows go, one of the organizers of the North American Commercial Vehicle Show was ready to declare it a solid success at the end of the third of its four-day inaugural run here at the Georgia World Congress Center, despite some exhibitor comments about light attendance.

In a Sept. 27 interview with HDT, Larry Turner, president and CEO of Chicago-based Hannover Fairs USA, said that he “wasn’t surprised” that the show floor seemed “settled down” by that mid-afternoon. He attributed that to the “ebb and flow” of attendees into different areas of the exhibit hall. “There are a lot of folks concentrated in some of the larger booths, including where cafes are set up, and that impacts the flow of attendees and the look of the show floor.”

While show management won’t release its final attendance figures until next Monday, Turner said that they’re looking to come in at around 10,000 attendees. “That’s not including roughly 5,000 exhibitor personnel and 243 members of the media.” He noted that some 20% of the attendees have been “walk-up registrations, including more today,” which suggests word of the new show is still getting out.

On Monday, which was open only to VIP guests of exhibitors and the media, "we had very good meetings, and today as well," Berend Bracht, president and CEO at Bendix, told HDT Tuesday, the first day the show floor was open to all attendees. "The foot traffic at the show seems to be a little low, but the people that are coming are the right people, the decision makers, technically very competent people, so it has been good that way. And of course we are here to support our OEs."

Larry Turner, president and CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. Photo: David Cullen
Larry Turner, president and CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. Photo: David Cullen

Turner pointed out that the NACV Show was “never intended for 50,000 people.” He said it is “not open to the public.” Rather, its primary registration effort was focused on attracting attendees who “own five or more trucks, with [individual] owner-operators welcome as well. The vast majority of attendees are from private and public fleets. We were not looking to compete with the Mid-America Trucking Show,” he added. “They have their [own niche], and we think we can coexist.”

He also said that registration had been helped by enabling exhibitors to invite their customers for either the Sept. 25 “VIP Day” or for another day at the show. Over 60% of the exhibitors invited customers, according to Turner.

“There are also industry suppliers in attendance,” he pointed out, “including some who are here to evaluate the show [for when it returns in two years]." As Bendix's Bracht also noted, Turner said the show offers “a secondary audience” in that there is “a dynamic among suppliers here, as occurs at IAA [the mega truck show held biennially in Hannover, Germany]. That is, smaller suppliers are interacting with the Tier One suppliers and OEMs” on the show floor.

Organizers said attendees appreciated spacious booths and a less-crowded atmosphere. Photo: Evan Lockridge
Organizers said attendees appreciated spacious booths and a less-crowded atmosphere. Photo: Evan Lockridge

Speaking of that space, Turner said the exhibition’s 365,000 square feet of net exhibition space was sold out for this first edition. For its 2019 return, the organizers will “probably contract for a second hall here, so we can grow exhibit space by 30 to 40%.”

He added that the show organizers have been “happy with the decision to hold it here in Atlanta since our first site visit two years ago. We liked the facility and its room for expansion and we liked the [nearby] downtown hotels and their attractive rates.”

As for feedback, Turners said it’s been “positive from almost all the exhibitors. They have commented they like that we achieved our intent of making it easy for fleet attendees to get with their suppliers” in spacious booths. "And we’ve heard from exhibitors and attendees that they can take their time — by not fighting crowds — to stop and spend time with exhibitors. Some attendees said they came because they could see all the major suppliers were here.”

Media out in force at Volvo press conference at the NACV Show. Photo: Evan Lockridge
Media out in force at Volvo press conference at the NACV Show. Photo: Evan Lockridge

One large truckload fleet maintenance exec at the show told HDT that the show was "superb on technology." He appreciated the focus of many exhibitors on connectivity and predictive technologies. "This is what we need today to help with driver turnover and mitigate costly time wastes in a driver's clock," he said. "It also helps me as a maintenance executive to move to less costly planned maintenance events. Those first to technology that works, will win." And it seemed that he felt this show's focus on tech would help attendees do that.

The show is managed jointly through the North American Commercial Vehicle Show Partnership formed by Hannover Fairs USA, a subsidiary of German trade show operator Deutsche Messe, and Newcom Business Media, organizer of the Canadian-based Truck World and ExpoCam trade shows.

The NACV Show is slated to return to Atlanta for its second outing from Oct. 28 to 31, 2019. It’s being held in alternating years from the Deutsche Messe-hosted IAA Commercial Vehicles show that's held in Hannover, Germany, during “even years.” 

Deborah Lockridge contributed to this story. Revised 10 a.m. EDT Sept. 28 to add  comments from exhibitors and attendees and additional photos.

Comments

  1. 1. John [ September 29, 2017 @ 08:15AM ]

    I highly disagree, the show in my opinion (exhibitor) was a failure. It was way too long, and every other exhibitor (including the big truck guys) were just standing around. I would stay away from this show until they get their attendee volumes up. Of course next week they will announce "spectacular turnout" by show organizer

  2. 2. Martin [ September 29, 2017 @ 12:21PM ]

    I can't imagine what the Truck MFGs spent on this show, but they can’t be happy with the turnout. The booth workers outnumbered the attendees 2 to 1.

  3. 3. Greg [ September 29, 2017 @ 06:12PM ]

    They’ll talk about how 2019 will be better, probably shorten the show, but the reality is that this show was a bad idea in the first place. US market is different from Euro market. A national show is a good idea, but it already exists. If MATS organisers would tweak the show, that would be better than starting a new show.

  4. 4. Will Taylor [ October 05, 2017 @ 06:31AM ]

    The show was a success. We look forward to 2019
    As mentioned in the article those first in technology wins. I personally walked the entire floor with absolutely no reach out from 95% of the booths that had invested their time and efforts in the show. The engagement from vendors was lacking. Our booth was non stop busy. We have a unique technology and, our neighbors did as well. The goal of these events is to learn and to educate. If you didn't get that, you weren't putting in effort. See you all in 2019! Thank you for this great opportunity!

 

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email:  
Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.

Newsletter

We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.

GotQuestions?
sponsored by
sponsor logo

ELDs and Telematics

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All
GotQuestions?

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All