Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) is getting a new home.
The event’s three owners — the Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) and HDDA: Heavy Duty — announced Wednesday at HDAW 2019 at the Mirage in Las Vegas that next year’s event will be held Jan. 27-30, 2020, at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The suburban Dallas venue also will host the 2021 to 2024 events.
HDMA President and COO Tim Kraus says the new venue enables HDAW’s owners to “effectively address the need for more meeting and exhibit space” that has plagued HDAW as it has grown. The Gaylord Texan will provide more than 180,000 sq.-ft. for the event’s two-day expo, an 80 percent increase over the Mirage. The venue also offers many more large meeting rooms and banquet halls to address HDAW’s educational schedule and concurrent events that will continue to be held during the week.
“We believe the [Gaylord Texan] will comfortably facilitate this great conference well into the future,” Kraus says.
“We are excited to begin reimagining HDAW.”
In announcing the news, the HDAW co-owners also acknowledged other logistical advantages provided in Texas. HDAW will be the only significant event occurring at the Gaylord Texan during next year’s event, assuring the conference receives the entirety of the facility’s attention, says Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association, parent organization of HDDA: Heavy Duty. The facility’s location near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is another plus, as the airport houses direct flights from hundreds of cities in the United States and Canada.
HDAW set another attendance record in 2019 with 283 distributor businesses and 2,576 total attendees, but Kraus and Hanvey say that latter total still accounts for less than half of the independent aftermarket distribution and service provider population. On that note, CVSN President Andy Robblee of Six Robblees’ says the distributor community also is behind the location change.
“This is our premier event for networking and industry learning,” he says. “Face-to-face time [with vendors] is invaluable. This move proves to me that the ownership group is truly listening to our needs.”
Adds Kraus, “We are doing this for the industry. We believe in the importance of the independent channel.”