CHANGE is good. At least it seemed that way at the 2004 National Association of Trailer Manufacturers Convention in Las Vegas.
The NATM altered its format for the 16th annual convention at the Orleans Hotel & Casino, starting a day earlier and switching the trade show from a six-hour time slot on one day to two four-hour time slots spread over two days.
“It was a very good show,” executive director Pam O'Toole said. “We had a record number of exhibitors (up by 60%), and six on the waiting list who couldn't get in because we had no space. We heard mostly positive comments about the trade show. We had good attendance on both afternoons. I imagine we'll have to do it the same way next year.”
With a record number of attendees (870), the convention featured morning and afternoon workshops on brake design, performance, and maintenance; welding; Early Warning Requirements; and compliance issues.
Vice president Carl Maxey gave a financial update, calling it “a very successful year, considering the challenges we had” dealing with the EWR issue. Revenue from dues increased from $220,000 in 2002 to $325,009 in 2003, and other revenue (newsletter, directory sales, etc) increased from $187,700 to $251,780. Current assets are $674,825, fixed assets are $45,309 for a total asset base of $720,135. Current liabilities are $300,789, leaving total net assets at $419,345.
The NATM implemented various programs, including overhauling the Web site, releasing an interactive DVD and over 10,000 marketing posters, and continuing to develop alliances.
“We worked harder than ever before on government regulations that impact our business,” compliance director Greg Soden said. “We will continue to work on EWR, but with the effective date behind us, we will change our focus to helping members understand EWR regulations and comply with rules. We have recently received information from NHTSA that only 340 companies in the whole of the US across all types of manufacturing — cars, trucks, RVs, trailers — have registered with NHTSA, suggesting that a large number of manufacturers have not registered.”
181 new members joined in 2003, pushing the total of active members to 690.
New board members are Pat Burke of Pace American and John Hodson of Barrett Trailers, and associate Ed Brady of Redneck Trailer Supplies.