Organizers of the first North American Commercial Vehicle Show held last week say they’re happy with the results of the show’s business-to-business concept and focus on global technology, and they learned how to improve the next one, to be held in 2019.
The NACV Show focused on truck & trailer manufacturers and commercial vehicle parts and components suppliers. It featured 439 exhibitors – 30% headquartered outside the U.S. – covering 370,000 square feet of net exhibition space at the Georgia World Congress Center. In fact, the exhibit space was sold out.
Some of the innovations announced and on display included hybrid and electric powered trucks, cutting-edge customizable trucks and trailers, connectivity solutions, advanced driver assistance systems, fuel efficiency equipment, safety technologies, and high-quality truck accessories.
“The NACV Show’s B2B concept was a real hit with our attendees, who gave us high marks for launching such a global showcase,” said Larry Turner, president and CEO of Hannover Fairs USA and co-organizer of the show.
Gerry Mead, senior VP of maintenance for U.S. Xpress, said 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."
A total of 6,000 unique visitors and 9,000 visits for the four-day show represented industry leaders, suppliers, top fleet owners and managers and 234 accredited international journalists.
While the final numbers did not come in as high as the 10,000 that organizers were looking for, Turner told HDT during the show that the NACV Show was “never intended for 50,000 people.” And a number of large exhibitors told HDT that although traffic seemed light, they were pleased that decision-makers from some of the country’s biggest fleets were in attendance, such as U.S. Xpress, NFI, Swift, Old Dominion, Heartland, and Ruan.
“Our customers are here,” said Jonathan Randall, senior VP of sales at Mack Trucks. “It’s not just the drivers that are here, it’s the fleet managers, the decision makers, it’s the guys with the purse strings that make the decisions."
“We are happy with the results of our inaugural event,” said Joe Glionna, president of Newcom and co-organizer of the NACV Show. “A lot of things worked for the larger exhibitors, but we learned that there are some changes required to ensure the smaller booths have the same experience.”
Daimler Trucks North America was one of the key OEs pushing for a new style of commercial vehicle show in the U.S. that runs in alternate years to the every-other-year IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany.
“It gives us a chance to really take advantage of our global presence,” said Roger Nielsen, DTNA president and CEO. “And we’ve refocused the show to be on big fleet customers, as well as suppliers. The NACV Show gives us a chance to bring our dealers here as well and to bring the big fleets together with suppliers and the OEMs. The payback for us has already well surpassed our expectations.”