Innovative technologies, more-efficient vehicles, and game-changing upfit solutions have transformed the work truck industry over the past two decades. Since 2001, The Work Truck Show has showcased these advancements annually, offering vocational truck fleet operators, manufacturers, dealers, and equipment distributors an inside look at the latest trucks, vehicle components, and equipment — all in one place.
The Work Truck Show, North America’s largest work truck event, will celebrate its 20th anniversary March 3-6 at Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Educational sessions, Green Truck Summit, and Manufacturer and Distributor Innovation Conference begin March 3, and the exhibit hall is open March 4-6. Registration opens in October.
“We’re excited to mark the 20th anniversary of The Work Truck Show and reflect on how this event and the work truck industry have advanced over the past 20 years,” said Steve Carey, NTEA president & CEO. “The Show plays an important role in helping our industry discover innovative solutions, overcome challenges and achieve goals. The Show’s success is the result of the commercial vehicle community’s thirst for continuous education and evolution.”
NTEA — The Association for the Work Truck Industry started producing member events just a year after it was formed as Truck Equipment & Body Distributors Association (commonly called Distributors Association or D/A for short) in 1964. What started as the Sales and Marketing Conference, an event featuring sales workshops and tabletop displays, grew over the next decade into D/A Convention, the industry’s annual meeting for truck equipment distributors, body builders and suppliers. The D/A Convention tradeshow was held in hotel ballrooms with exhibitors limited to 10-foot by 10-foot booths.
In 1982, the Association debuted SUPERSHOW, a biennial tradeshow that in its first year covered the Superdome field with 67,350 square feet of exhibits, including vocational trucks.
As the pace of industry evolution quickened, NTEA surveyed members about their challenges. In the late 1990s, markets were consolidating, distribution channels were shifting, customer demands were changing and there were rapid developments in information technology and equipment innovation. It was time for a new, more frequent tradeshow.
NTEA introduced its largest event yet, T3 – The Commercial Truck, Trailer & Technology Expo, in 2000. The new show broke long-standing industry barriers by bringing together the entire commercial truck marketplace: manufacturers, distributors, dealers and end-users. T3 2000 filled 340,000 square feet with commercial trucks and equipment.
A year later, to better reflect the broad scope of the annual event, NTEA debuted the name The Work Truck Show. Over the last 20 years, The Work Truck Show has continued to expand, and NTEA now calls the entire week around the show Work Truck Week.
During its first decade, The Work Truck Show was held in a different city each year. By 2011, it grew too large for most convention facilities to handle, and Work Truck Week found a long-term home in centrally located Indianapolis.
The Work Truck Show is nearly three times larger today than it was back in 2001, thanks to continuous demand from new and returning exhibitors. The number of exhibitors has grown from 350 in 2001 to more than 500 in 2019. After maxing out all available exhibit space at Indiana Convention Center, NTEA found creative ways to accommodate some of the companies on the Show’s waiting list every year. In 2019, New Exhibitor Pavilion, a dedicated space outside the main 500,000-square-foot exhibit hall, was added to showcase first-time exhibitors.
Show attendance has nearly doubled since 2001, growing from 7,143 attendees to a record 14,256 at The Work Truck Show 2019.
Work Truck Show 2020
The Work Truck Show features the latest vocational trucks, vans, vehicle components and truck equipment on an exhibit floor covering more than 500,000 square feet. The event includes a robust educational conference with sessions designed to help attendees improve their operations. Additionally, most years, a Ride-and-Drive and outside demo area offer the opportunity for attendees to get hands-on with innovative technology and new trucks.
Anyone who works with commercial vehicles, including public and private truck fleet operators, manufacturers, dealers and equipment distributors can find solutions to their business challenges at the Show.