HDAW pulls out all the bells and whistles for 2024

Updated Jan 11, 2024

Attendees asked, and Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) organizers listened, says co-chair Michael Callison, president and CEO of Midwest Wheel Companies.

He says a lot of HDAW 2024, Jan. 22-25 in Grapevine, Texas, will be familiar to returning heavy-duty aftermarket leaders, but there are some changes. For instance, this year drops Service Opportunity and Learning Day (SOLD!) and adds more time for one-one-one meetings.

[RELATED: Speakers announced for HD Aftermarket Dialogue]

More than 1,900 openings, in fact, as well as time set aside for unscheduled meetings.

“These meetings help propel valuable dialogue on the latest product innovations and collaborative strategies, driving our industry forward,” says Nicole Oreskovic, the other co-chair of HDAW 2024 and the vice president of sales and marketing at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.

Suppliers and distributors are matched for the meetings using a software program, and delegates will also have time to manually request meetings to make the most of their time.

“Part of coming to HDAW is the unique opportunity to get all your suppliers and distributors under one roof, so we’re extending the expo floor time a bit on Tuesday and also keeping ample time for unscheduled one-on-one meetings on Thursday — we saw a lot of success with that last year,” says Callison, the president and CEO of Midwest Wheel Companies. “Attendees can also participate in lunchtime roundtable discussions on various topics to level up their learning.”

Roundtables will be Tuesday and Wednesday at lunch. Topics will include supply chain challenges, opportunities and best practices; new products and technology trends; improving your business with technology and AI; challenges and successes in the workforce; succession planning and developing leaders in your company; and opportunities and challenges in sustainability.

“Our industry is changing like never before, including a significant digital transformation,” Oreskovic says. “HDAW delivers innovative solutions, access to the leading suppliers, and a high-quality, one-on-one business meeting program. That powerful combination brings countless opportunities and solidify essential partnerships for their business.”

The theme for this year’s event is fully equipped, and Oreskovic and Calison say attendees can expect to leave this year’s HDAW with all the tools they need to move their business forward.

“It’s a pretty universal theme and we can tie that into all the aspects of HDAW,” Callison says. ”We’re focused on what everyone actually cares about, enhancing what’s already there.”

HDAW also includes a two-day product expo offering access to new products, as well as educational sessions that will cover current trends, market updates and other industry thought leadership.

One of the expo booths will feature XRMentor, an interactive booth that will allow attendees to experience augmented and virtual reality and learn how these tools engage younger generations.

NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter will be the keynote speaker for Tuesday’s opening general session, which will also include the Trucks, Parts, Service Distributor of the Year Award presentation and announcement of the newest member of the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Hall of Fame.

For those who don’t know Carter, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history and for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins. In his retirement, he’s served as an analyst and host on several networks.

“We’re honored to welcome Cris Carter as our keynote for Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week this year,” Orkeskovic says. “Cris’ illustrious career, marked by excellence, is a powerful metaphor for the challenges and triumphs in the heavy-duty aftermarket industry. His journey mirrors our commitment and a renewed focus on being fully equipped for the evolving landscape.”

Also new this year is Wednesday Night Lights, a closing celebration at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Organizers added the exciting new feature to enable attendees an opportunity to venture out of the hotel and experience the Grapevine area.

HDAW will bring more than 2,600 people from across the heavy-duty industry to Dallas, including distributors, suppliers, service providers, industry experts, thought leaders and more. 

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