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Post Expo Review


Staff member
Well, we're finally starting to recover from Expedite Expo 2017. :smug: This was our 17th year hosting this amazing event that started on the parking lot of the Detroiter truck stop. Lots of things have changed since our first event. Some for the good, and others not so much. When we had our first expo it was impossible to think at that time that you could watch unlimited movies in your truck via your cell phone or listening to satellite radio mile after mile, state after state without ever having to change the channel. Not to mention Rand Mcnally was the authority on how to get from point A to point B.

This is our second year in Lexington. I think most people are adjusting to our new venue, like anything else new it takes time to get comfortable. It was great to see drivers staying at our host hotel in Lexington, they were able to enjoy all the local restaurants and entertainment within walking distance of the venue. Back in Ohio, we were unable to house any drivers at the Robert Center due to lack of rooms. In fact, we've been unable to host any driver attendees for the past five years due to the lack of rooms. Our last few years we were even unable to even accommodate our exhibitors - we needed 220 rooms just for exhibitors and only 120 rooms were available. So they had to stay 15+ miles away.

People ask me all the time what I think about the expo and it's results, I've learned it doesn't really matter what I think, it's what the exhibitors and attendees thinks about that matter. We had some updates to our schedule this year, for example we placed all the workshops, roundtables and networking sessions in the early morning, before we opened the show floor. This was very well received by everyone.

Attendance. Our attendance reflects a trend that's occurring within our industry and that is the fast and furious growth of Fleet Owners. For the last 5 years, Fleet Owners (FO) are the fastest growing group at our Expo. Pre 2008 it was Owner Operators, at this time Fleet Owner growth resembles a hockey stick. I met many FO's this past Expo. We had the most FO's register in all our history. So a single individual FO can represent 2 or 20 more trucks - in many cases at show it could be 35+ trucks. The Expedite Expo is growing, the growth just looks different to what we've done in the the past. With that same thought, am I suggesting that OO's are not needed? Far from it. It's just during this cycle Fleet Owners are ratcheting up their growth. Also, some carriers have a huge OO base, as they understand their needs better.

The feedback we've received from attendees and exhibitors so far is overwhelmingly positive. It seems that almost everyone who attended, was there to conduct business - whether it was to buy a truck or attend a workshop or a networking session, attendees were there to conduct business. This year, we've had very few wagons with trick-or-treaters, exhibitors and attendees noted it and appreciated it. That type of visitor has plagued trucking shows.

Set up day went well without any major obstacles. Friday morning workshops and sessions went very well, we added a new format this year featuring networking round tables - that was a success. The show floor opening was great and packed. We got to visit with many EO'ers all day long in our booth, I really enjoyed that. Following the close of the expo on Friday, EO hosted it's first ever small Fleet Owner meet and greet networking reception. It was great to spend time and understand their challenges and growing pains as well. We'll have more on this later. Expediter Services hosted their annual EGG (Expediter Group Gathering) event featuring a first class, sit down meal. They invited 175 guests to join them from the expo, they are a very hospitable organization. Following their meeting, CIS Insurance hosted their annual Casino Night. It seems like Casino Night keeps growing year after year after year. If the last time you attended a Casino Night was in Wilmington, you'll be shocked to see that we have almost doubled in size. The thousands of dollars in cash and prizes was bonus for our guests.

A few thoughts on our awards. This year I had the bittersweet honor of awarding a 28 year veteran in expediting an Industry Recognition Award as he heads into retirement. As most of you know, Terry o'Connell has almost a three decade legacy of participation and leadership in our industry. We'll miss him and wish Terry and Rene the best in this next stage of their life. The other award, was to the Expediter Of The Year, this was the first year we added this annual award to recognize those in our Industry who are making a positive difference. Our three independent judges had a very difficult time, in the end they chose Robert Burton as the Expediter Of The Year. Congratulations Robert and Christy.

This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors. Please let them know you appreciate what they do for the greater good of our industry.

We learned a lot at this expo and plan to implement your feedback (last year you asked for a parking lot shuttles and we brought you a parking lot shuttle). A common saying around our organization is that "our industry is changing and so are we". Planning has already begun on Expedite Expo 2018 and we hope to bring you the most beneficial expo yet.

Plan to attend the 2018. See you there!

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