It’s almost time for The Work Truck Show, one of the best opportunities to brush up on your truck knowledge and see the latest products in the industry. This year marks the 20th anniversary of this industry-leading event where suppliers, OEMs, fleet management companies, and more gather in Indianapolis for three full days. Whether this year is your first time diving into the vast schedule of trainings and exhibits or you’re a seasoned attendee, here are the must-dos at this must-attend event.
Take Advantage of the Educational Sessions
The industry is constantly changing, and it’s critical to keep up with the latest best practices. I recommend taking advantage of the Educational Sessions and Special Sessions, which are held throughout the entire Work Truck Show. It is an excellent opportunity to ensure truck engineers are continuing their education through on-site training.
Our truck engineers are one of our most prized assets at Merchants Fleet, and we want to continue to grow and strengthen their knowledge. This year all my engineers will be attending the full-day workshop on truck spec “Spec’ing for Success”.
Some of the most beneficial sessions in the education schedule are the OEM updates. If you are attending with a team, take a “divide and conquer” approach to ensure you cover as many OEM update sessions as possible. My team and I take that information back to Merchants and then hold sessions with our client experience team to share our knowledge so the entire organization learns with us.
Build & Foster Relationships
The exhibit hall offers a great opportunity to visit all of the suppliers either you or your clients interact with on a daily basis. Schedule quick 15-minute stand up meetings with the suppliers you work with most often to make sure things are going well and ask if there are ways to make doing business with you better and easier. Walk the floor (bring your walking shoes – there is over 500,000 square feet of exhibit space!) and introduce yourself to other suppliers with mutual clients as this can be beneficial as well. Finally, make sure to walk in the new exhibitor’s area to make new connection and welcome new people to the industry.
Bring a Curious, Innovative Mindset
The Work Truck Show is the time to see what is new in the industry and stay on top of changing technology. There are a lot of pop up demonstrations – make sure you take the time to stop and watch. Suppliers spend a lot of money to be there, so this is the time to visit their booths, understand their products, and see if there are new things hitting the market.
I am looking forward to learning something new this year, connecting with industry colleagues, and discovering innovative ways to build better solutions for our clients. If you want to connect and talk trucks, Merchants Fleet will have two booths this year. If you need flexible and customizable long-term truck solutions, including upfitting, stop by booth #2404 to talk to our experienced truck engineers. For short-term needs, or for ideas about how to bridge gaps in your fleet during seasonal and peak demand periods, visit booth #410 to learn more about our Truck Rental Program.
Candice Groth serves as Director of Operation, Fleet Acquisitions at Merchants Fleet. She focuses on enhancing both customer-facing and internal processes related to new vehicle acquisition. Candice began her fleet management career in 1998 with GE Capital Fleet Services and progressed to Director of Operations at Element Fleet Management, where she was responsible for the company’s new vehicle ordering application. She has over two decades of experience in the factory order process and has partnered with various industry leaders, including Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Nissan, and VW.