The North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) reported today (Oct. 3) that attendance increased 58% at the Sept. 6-8 5th Annual Trade Show & Convention in St. Louis.
According to a press release, the show has seen a continual growth in exhibitors and dealer attendees, even throughout the recession. The show started in 2008 in Fort Worth, Texas, with 106,000 square feet and has sold out of show space every year, while continuing to grow in size to its current footprint of 240,000 square feet in 2012. The number of exhibiting trailer manufacturers also grew from 46 in 2011 to 63 this year.
“The centralized and convenient location of St. Louis helped, but the incredible support from our industry has been the backbone to our success,” said NATDA President and co-founder Andy Ackerman. “Now that our young association has this momentum, we aren’t wasting any time and are already working towards creating a 2013 Trade Show that will break even more records.”
A recent survey conveyed that dealers want to see greater manufacturer participation, as 68% of the dealers said the primary reason they attend the show is to meet with their current manufacturers and suppliers.
“The dealers’ time away from their dealerships is incredibly valuable and our show gives them the opportunity to maximize their time away, and be able to meet with all of their manufacturers in one location,” said Ackerman. “When the first trade show was held, we had very few exhibitors encouraging their dealers to attend, but we’ve seen that mindset change. The 2012 show had an incredible amount of suppliers encouraging their current dealers to attend.”