The show floor at MATS. Photo: Evan Lockridge

The show floor at MATS. Photo: Evan Lockridge

The organizers of the Mid-America Trucking Show say Daimler Trucks North America will "definitely be missed in 2016" but that the show is stronger than it has ever been and there aren't any plans to go to an every-other-year format.

DTNA has decided not to exhibit at the 2016 show, wanting to go to a bi-annual schedule similar to the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Germany.

Toby Young with Exhibit Management Associates, which manages the yearly March show in Louisville, Ky., says at this time they are unsure of how DTNA's decision will affect next year's show.

"The DTNA companies represent several of our largest exhibitors and strongest supporters; Freightliner is a charter MATS exhibitor, never missing a show in 44 years," he told HDT. "It goes without saying that the presence of the DTNA companies and all they bring to the show both tangible and intangible will definitely be missed in 2016."

Young pointed out that MATS is coming off a record-breaking year. The 2015 show marked its highest attendance total in its 44-year history and its fastest sell-out in 15 years.

"The show is truly stronger than it has ever been," Young said. "We have significant pent-up demand and feel that we will be able to fill the exhibit space that DTNA is releasing, but this is certainly not our only concern.

"MATS is driven by the needs of the entire industry," he said. "We feel and have been told by our exhibiting companies that MATS fills the need for an annual event where the entire industry comes together as one. This allows manufacturers to support their dealers, meet with suppliers, release new products, and stay in sync with the needs of their customers. For industry attendees, the ability to efficiently research the latest products/services and stay connected to the industry is an annual need and one that MATS is committed to meet."

If those industry needs are changing, he said, the organizers are open to discussions about how to meet those needs.

"While the product cycles and business strategies of our customers may not always align, we are committed to the needs of the industry as a whole and the more than 1,000 exhibiting companies that exhibit annually at the Mid-America Trucking Show," Young said.

While organizers believe there is a need for an annual event, he said they have investigated other changes to the show, such as expanding the show's length and adding a supplier/manufacturer day or event to the front end of the show.

"We are certainly open to adding on to our current yearly format, whether that is with an additional day, additional events under the MATS umbrella, or any other ideas that our exhibiting companies may have.

"With all this said, MATS is driven by the needs of the market. We are always open to direct discussions with our supporters to make MATS a better event for the industry."