Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week's annual meeting Jan 22-25 in Grapevine, Texas, set records, organizers say. Attendance grew by 11.8% over 2023 and the sold-out trade show had more than 330 exhibitors in 140,000-plus square feet of show space.
More than 2,900 executives and managers from across the heavy-duty aftermarket came to the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center for a "Fully Equipped" week of meetings, education and honors. Tidewater Fleet Supply was named the Trucks, Parts, Service Distributor of the Year. The industry also honored Mike Betts, CEO and chairman of the board for Betts Company, as the 2024 Heavy Duty Aftermarket Industry Hall of Fame recipient.
"The resounding success of HDAW '24, marked by substantial growth, underscores the resilience and forward-thinking spirit of heavy-duty aftermarket professionals," says Michael Callison Jr., president and CEO of Midwest Wheel Companies and HDAW '24 co-chair. "It's truly gratifying to see our commitment to innovation and collaboration reflected in the record-breaking numbers and vibrant atmosphere of this year's event."
HDAW also hosted more than 1,900 meetings between suppliers and distributors across three days. For the first time, more distributors registered than suppliers.
"The continued interest and success of HDAW's One-on-One Business Meeting program reflects the commitment of each of the 11 organizing associations to fostering impactful connections. The sheer scale of the meetings provided a unique platform for professionals to navigate opportunities and solidify strategic partnerships in our dynamic business landscape," says Nicole Oreskovic, vice president of sales and marketing at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and co-chair of HDAW '24.
HDAW '24 also hosted networking programs targeted at emerging professionals and women. The Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) program held meetings designed to encourage emerging professionals to connect and collaborate while HDAWomen held a reception to support women in the heavy-duty aftermarket.
"HDAW is a great place to network, better understand your customers and competitors, and learn what your company can do more effectively to interact with all your stakeholder groups," says Cara Mitchell of BBB Industries. "Others in the industry should take advantage of this week because it gives you a chance to see so many of your peers in one place and hear about things that are impacting the industry."
Educational sessions highlighted recruitment and retention, electrification and Right to Repair legislation. Keynote speaker was NFL Hall of Famer Cris Carter, who shared stories and lessons from his career and life. Closing out HDAW was Wednesday Night Lights, a reception at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
"This event is a game-changer for anyone in our industry," says Kevin Hopton of CBS Parts Limited. "Not only does it strengthen your connections with manufacturers, but it also opens doors to explore new product lines. It's a crucial step in building and growing your business, fostering relationships that prove invaluable."