UPDATED -- The goal of the new North American Commercial Vehicle Show is not to compete with established regional trucking shows that are popular with owner-operators and families, but to provide a more business-focused event showcasing the latest truck technology for fleets.

“The main idea here is that what was missing from North American shows was a real focus on the medium to large fleets and the technology of today and tomorrow,” explained Joe Glionna, vice president of Newcom Media USA, one of the partners putting on the new event, in an interview with HDT.

The new show will be held Sept. 25-29, 2017, at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta. Daimler Trucks North America is the first truck OEM to announce a commitment to the new show, but other announcements will be forthcoming.

The NACV Show is organized and managed jointly by Newcom Media USA and Hannover Fairs USA. Newcom, a major Canadian B2B publisher, puts on the Truck World and ExpoCam trade shows. Hannover Fairs USA develops and manages marketing programs at Deutsche Messe events in Hannover, Germany, and the United States, as well as in emerging markets.

The genesis for a new show was the pullout of major truck and engine OEMs from the Mid-America Trucking Show last year. DTNA and others expressed a desire for a show that would run on opposite years to the big IAA commercial vehicle show in Hannover, Germany, and that would have some of the same attributes of the European event, where fleets actually come to place equipment orders.

In fact, Glionna said he doesn’t view the NACV show as directly competing against any shows that are currently in the North American market.

“We believe there’s a place in this industry for events for truck enthusiasts, for owner-operators, for the family aspect of trucking, and we hope they continue to succeed in various regional markets,” Glionna said. “But what was missing … was an event that brings the buyers together and the latest technologies and the biggest fleets.”

He noted there also will be a “robust European technology section of the show.”

While owner-operators are certainly welcome, Glionna said, the NACV show will not have some of the types of features that would typically be a draw for this audience, such as a truck beauty competition, driver recruiting booths, concerts, educational programs, and vendors showing off products and services that are not directly related to the business of running a fleet.

Quality, not quantity, is the goal when it comes to attendees and exhibitors.

“Our expectations are quite low compared to the announced numbers” from some other shows, Glionna said. “We have no interest in having 50,000 people at this show. If we had 10,000 to 15,000 qualified buyers the first year, that would be a big success in our minds. It's not about big numbers, it’s about the right equipment, the right place to do business, and the right people to do business with.”

NACV will be a five-day show. While schedules are far from finalized, as plans stand now, only two days are likely to be open to the general public, Glionna said. A third day will be limited to invited guests – customers and prospects of the exhibitors. A fourth day will be for the press, a fifth day for suppliers to meet with OEs.

Eventually, Glionna said, NACV can become more of a truck-buying event like IAA. “In the North American market, trade shows are far less about acquisition than European shows, and it’s a mentality that’s not going to change in year one. I think we’re going to see a real attempt to start to create sales cycles where the show becomes a major date in that sales cycle.”

Updated 7/7/2016 to correct show dates.

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Deborah Lockridge

Deborah Lockridge

Editor and Associate Publisher

Reporting on trucking since 1990, Deborah is known for her award-winning magazine editorials and in-depth features on diverse issues, from the driver shortage to maintenance to rapidly changing technology.

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