With most major truck makers and tier one component suppliers already committed to next year’s new North American Commercial Vehicle Show in Atlanta, Ga., organizers say nearly half of the expected exhibit space is already spoken for.
At an informational event and site tour for exhibitors and potential visitors in Atlanta this week, show organizers said all truck makers except for Paccar have made a long-term commitment to the biennial event, to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in downtown Atlanta Sept. 25-29, 2017 (Note: These dates are a week later than those originally announced for the new show.) The biennial show is also scheduled for Atlanta in 2019 and 2021.
NACV is a new event being put on by North American Commercial Vehicle Show Partnership, owned half by Newcom USA, a subsidiary of Canada’s Newcom Business Media, and Hannover Fairs USA, a subsidiary of Germany-based Deutsche Messe, which plans and stages trade fairs around the globe, including the big IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany.
The five-day event will take up the entire Hall B of the GWCC. The 610,000-square-foot hall will be set up with approximately 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, and about 150,000 square feet of that is already spoken for. Organizers have booked all 47 meeting rooms in Building B and will make meeting space available for exhibitors.
Organizers have been working closely with truck makers and suppliers to craft an event they say is unlike any other commercial trucking show in the country. It’s a professional, business-oriented event designed to showcase the latest equipment and technology to decision-makers at medium and large fleets.
The Monday-through-Friday event will have some days set aside only for VIP invited guests, press conferences, and meetings between OEs and suppliers.
Large fleet executives are the primary target audience, followed by medium-size fleets as a secondary audience, and small fleets and business-minded owner-operators as a tertiary target. Organizers are not trying to get the largest attendee numbers possible, but rather are focusing on getting a good audience of qualified buyers. The first year may be 10,000 to 15,000, with later years bringing in 25,000 or 30,000.
Eventually the hope is to turn the NACV show into a serious buying event, where attendees will not just kick the tires, but will actually place orders for trucks and equipment as happens at the IAA show in Germany. “That is the kind of mentality we want to bring to the North American market,” explained Joe Glionna, vice president of Newcom Media USA.
The show is not designed for people to bring their children and pets, and concerts and other entertainment on the show floor are discouraged. While “there is room in the market for an owner-operator/driver, festival-type environment, that is not what we want to be,” Glionna said.
No educational events are planned, as organizers do not see the show competing with events such as the American Trucking Associations’ annual Management Conference & Exhibition, where educational meetings are a main component.
The exhibit space will be set up “to maximize the benefits for the attendees,” explained Larry Turner, CEO of Hannover Fairs USA. Individual booths will be capped at a maximum of 10,000 square feet. Exhibitors will be limited to those with products and services aimed directly at the fleet market.
While details are still being worked out, one highlight will be a European technology pavilion, designed to showcase technologies offered in Europe that are not yet available in North America but are likely to be in the future.
The organizers also shared more insight into the choice of Atlanta for the location.
This show is designed to be a national and international event, rather than a regional “drive to” event, so having one of the country’s largest airport hubs was a major factor. It’s a 15- to 20-minute train or cab ride to downtown, where organizers have procured an abundance of hotel rooms in a wide range of prices and amenities, all within easy walking distance of the convention center, restaurants and entertainment venues.
Many new attractions have opened in the area in the last few years. In addition to the existing popular World of Coca-Cola and Atlanta Aquarium, there’s the College Football Hall of Fame, the SkyView giant climate-controlled Ferris Wheel, and the Center for Civil and Human Rights. A new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons football team is scheduled to be completed before the inaugural NACV event.