The Importance—and Success—Of Industry Trade Shows

To be successful in manufacturing, there’s more to it that producing quality products. Of course that’s critical, but in order to achieve this, even more has to be done. Constant learning, growing, and evolving are necessary.

One of the best ways to achieve this is through regularly attending industry trade shows. This is where you interact with peers and customers, and attend educational seminars that focus on what’s new, what’s exciting, and what’s truly innovative. This is how a company truly achieves learning and growth.

We place great importance on this, and recently attended three shows which all proved to be invaluable.

HDMA Heavy Duty Dialogue, Nashville, TN, March 10, 2014

One of the top conferences for the domestic and global commercial vehicle industry, this event focused on the “changes and challenges within the industry,” with information on “developing effective strategies to grow and prosper in the ever-changing global HD markets.”

Many experts talked about the connected vehicle, and opportunities for connecting operators. We discussed and learned more about advanced safety, driving, and maintenance systems for improved truck performance, and were fortunate enough to be exposed to a positive outlook for the economy from Bill Strauss of the Federal Reserve. Furthermore, Gary Meteer and Andrej Divis, representing the heavy truck market and IHS, respectively, offered invaluable insight.

Mid-America Trucking Show, Louisville, KY, March 26-28, 2014

With over 1,000 exhibitors from 78 countries and all 50 states, this conference was a huge success. We reviewed exhibits on the latest innovations and concept vehicles for heavy truck manufacturers, including OEMs and engine, suspension, and drive train suppliers.

Cummins and Eaton were there, displaying a new fuel economy power train that’s integral to getting 10 mpg with an extended warranty. We also watched videos of the latest safety systems in action at the Knorr-Bremses booth, and met with a range of interesting people and products.

PMA One Voice Legislative Conference, Washington, DC, May 6-7, 2014

This sixth-annual event saw the opportunity for attendees to “have [their] voice heard directly by the policymakers who are creating the laws of the nation.” It was truly exciting—we had the chance to meet with Speaker of the House John Boehner, as well as Senator Portman and Congressman Gibbs.

We discussed issues important to stamping product manufacturers, including health care costs, tax regulations, and government regulations. We talked extensively about the potential impact of changing ozone emissions regulations (from the current 75ppm to 60ppm), as well as the potential impact to lost jobs, revenue, and business expansion on the state of Ohio.