Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW) 2019 set attendance records for independent distributors and exhibiting suppliers, event organizers announced this week.
According to the HDAW ownership group, more than 2,500 aftermarket industry leaders attended the three-day conference, including over 1,800 supplier and 680 distributor executives. Available booth spaces for exhibitors at the HDAW Product Expo sold out less than a month after the initial space release in September 2018, resulting in a long waiting list. Additionally, 1,524 private one-on-one meetings were held during the four-day conference.
“The buzz during HDAW 2019 was loud throughout the week, and the attendance numbers support the feeling of excitement felt during the elements of the conference. The independent aftermarket came together for a tremendous week of camaraderie, and it was great to be a part of this record setting year,” says Brett Penzkofer, vice president of North American aftermarket, Meritor, and HDAW 2019 supplier co-chair. “The Product Expo halls were full of activity as suppliers launched new products, technology, and programs into the aftermarket, connecting the independent distributor to their futures.”
“In one week, we learned to embrace technology and the benefits of using it in our businesses, finding and retaining the right people for our organizations and understanding what the independent distributor will need to know to prepare for the increasing technology on the vehicles our customers will be driving,” adds Ian Johnston, vice president of sales and marketing, Harman HVS, and HDAW 2019 distributor co-chair. “The record number of distributor attendees at HDAW this year shows us that there is an interest in understanding what impact technology will have on their businesses, both on the trucks and in our back offices.”
HDAW organizers say nearly 1,200 people attended the Tuesday opening general session to listen to the keynote speaker, futurist Daniel Burrus, who presented “The Anticipatory Organization: A Proven Model to Predict Change & Create Extraordinary Results.” The session demonstrated how to understand and adapt to trends, predicting disruptions before they disrupt, and how to pay close attention to emerging opportunities so organizations can quickly capitalize on them. Afterwards, Burrus was joined on stage by Sam Schmitt, Indy car team owner and driver, to discuss the impact that disruptive technologies in motor vehicles has made in his life and how he has used new technology to overcome his disability to drive a vehicle after a catastrophic test racing accident in 2000.
With HDAW 2020 on the move to suburban Dallas, event organizers believe the conference is situated to handle more growth in the coming years. Scheduled for Jan. 27-30, 2020 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas, HDAW 2020 will accommodate the increased need and industry demand for more exhibit space. The product expo will expand by 80 percent, from 100,000 to 180,000 sq.-ft., and will add 250,000+ sq.-ft. in meeting and event space, thus allowing HDAW to increase opportunities for industry meetings, events, and distributor education offerings, organizers say.