Commuters who traverse I-285, I-20, I-75 and I-85 know that semis, 18-wheelers and other commercial vehicles are no strangers to navigating in and around metro Atlanta’s major roadways. But the technological side of moving these massive haulers from point A to point B is the focus of the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle Show (NACV) running through Thursday (Sept. 28) at the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) in downtown Atlanta.
Although several sparkling and hulking big rig cabs are on display outside the facility on Andrew Young International Boulevard grabbing the attention of passersby, this isn’t a consumer show for “Smokey and the Bandit” enthusiasts. Rather NACV is designed to connect the trucking industry’s leaders, decision-makers, fleet owners and managers directly with vendors demonstrating and selling their latest product lines – and provide ample networking opportunities.
“It will be unlike any existing North American trucking trade show, with a clear focus on technology, and facilitating business between truck fleets and their suppliers,” according to the NACV website.
It’s a back-to-basics, meat-and-potatoes kind of show – granted top-of-the-line choice cuts and taters with all the fixings.
Always risky and difficult to forge a new niche, show organizers saw an opportunity to fill a void and were validated when exhibit space officially sold out in late August. That’s 365,000 square feet of net exhibit space in the GWCC’s Building B Exhibit Hall, featuring 400 exhibitors displaying innovative products and technical advances within the industry.
“Selling out the inaugural NACV Show underscores just how important our new, sophisticated and business-centric trade show concept is to the North American trucking industry audience,” said Larry Turner, president and CEO of Hannover Fairs USA and co-organizer of the NACV Show. “There’s not much unused space in that (exhibit) hall.”
Indeed, the show floor is packed with shiny new freighters, commercial vans, delivery trucks, and aisle after aisle of booths featuring parts, components and the industry’s emerging gadgets – it’s like a trucking superstore on steroids.
And the show has an international flavor as 42 percent of the exhibit floor is occupied by companies headquartered outside of the U.S., including exhibitors from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and Turkey.
“We are thrilled that the industry’s leading companies from around the world have embraced the show from its inception,” said Turner.
Attendance at the inaugural NACV Show is expected to reach 12,000, including exhibitors, according to Turner.
NACV is a joint venture between Hannover Fairs USA, Newcom Media and Deutsche Messe, and will be held every other year, alternating with the IAA Commercial Vehicles show in Hannover, Germany. NACV will return to the GWCC in 2019.