Your time is valuable. But attending the right event can be priceless in terms of knowledge and relationships gained.  -  Photo by C. Cagnin from Pexels

Your time is valuable. But attending the right event can be priceless in terms of knowledge and relationships gained.

Photo by C. Cagnin from Pexels

With more events that you can count on your fingers and toes, how do you know what is the most valuable event to fit into your limited time? How do you maximize your time out of the office and get the most benefit for your fleet?

I’ll be candid: traveling and spending time away from the office is a pain. There is time spent determining if an event is worth your time in the first place. Then you must request approval to attend.

Next, there are the travel arrangements. Then, there is the time out of the office just getting to and from and event, let alone the time spent at the event itself. Finally, there are the after-event reports and meetings to share what you (hopefully) learned. 

So, why travel? What’s the real benefit? 

The Benefit of Attending Fleet/Trucking Events 

In my opinion, education and connections should be the top benefits of any event you attend. Today’s fleet manager has so much to stay ahead of, from changing regulations to fluctuating fuel costs and changes in vehicles impacting maintenance schedules and more.

To justify time away from your already busy schedule, you need to know that you are going to (a) learn something of value and (b) make connections that matter to your fleet operation. 

Every single event touts their attendees will receive a “professional takeaway” of some form. Typically, these takeaways are accomplished through hours of presentations, breakout sessions (more sitting and listening), and giant expo halls filled with thousands of people and products to sift through. 

But most of the truck fleet events on the calendars today are working to meet the needs of thousands of different fleet managers and make sure the hundreds of vendors supporting the events are happy. 

Before deciding whether an event is worth your time, make sure that it has the educational and networking elements you need to make the absolute best use of your time. 

WTX: A Different Type of Truck Event

While the Work Truck eXchange (WTX) is now entering its fifth year, the 2019 event was my first opportunity to attend. Like many, I wasn’t sure what to expect. 

WTX is different. It’s a much smaller event, and attendance limited. Fleet manager applicants are vetted to ensure only the right mix of truck and van fleet managers are there. Additionally, a small number of representatives are on hand from companies truck fleets can genuinely benefit from. 

Instead of sitting in a large room with hundreds of other people for hours while “experts” drone on and on and on about something you may (not) care about, WTX brings together fleet managers and industry experts for one-on-one networking events. 

One aspect of WTX that I was the most curious about was the one-on-one networking appointments, which I kept hearing referred to as “Speed Dating for Fleet.” Fleet managers are provided with a schedule of brief appointments with key industry suppliers to have personal, one-on-one conversations about the aspects of the programs or products that actually matter to them. The appointments are kept brief to meet the most people and keep everyone on task, and follow-up opportunities are provided.

At the end of WTX, you will have made new relationships with companies that offer what your specialized truck fleet needs. 

And, fleet managers are surrounded by their peers. One of my favorite parts of fleet — and a feeling I hear often repeated by truck fleet managers — is the spirit of collaboration between peers. Not many industries find companies in the same industry sharing best practices, talking about their challenges, and working together to come up with better solutions. 

The Bottom Line

Your time is valuable. But attending the right event can be priceless in terms of knowledge and relationships gained. I highly recommend you make WTX one of your must-attend events for 2020. I know I’ll be there! Check out page 30 for more details.  

Want more info? Go to today! 

Questions? E-mail me, let’s chat!

About the author
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Executive Editor - Fleet, Trucking & Transportation

Lauren Fletcher is Executive Editor for the Fleet, Trucking & Transportation Group. She has covered the truck fleet industry since 2006. Her bright personality helps lead the team's content strategy and focuses on growth, education, and motivation.

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