NASHVILLE—The big are getting even bigger.
The NATDA Trailer Show returned to Music City Center for the show’s 15th anniversary, and the event once again shattered its previous attendance and exhibit space records.
“Each year the show is getting bigger and better,” Executive Director Andria Gibbon said, speaking from the PJ Trailers Dealer Stage on the closing afternoon. “In case you haven’t noticed, this is the biggest show we’ve ever had.”Read more: 2023 NATDA Trailer Show's success lays groundwork for 2024
The show, a business-to-business event that connects the entire light- to medium-duty trailer industry under one roof, hosted more than 4,000 visitors with approximately 700 North American dealerships in attendance. Exhibit space occupied the most expansive square footage in the show’s history, featuring over 300 exhibitors.
“This was a particularly exciting year for us,” Gibbon said. “Not only did we achieve record attendance, but we also saw unprecedented participation in our Dealership Performance Training sponsored by Dura-Haul Trailers, with the education program of business courses, hands-on workshops, and roundtables seeing full or near full classrooms.”
The Women in Business Roundtable and Networking Event, sponsored by The Trailer Parts Outlet and ATW, brought together women from all areas of the industry for two hours of idea generation and problem-solving. The packed event also featured refreshment offerings that might’ve been the best at the show.
That event and the Dealership Operations Roundtable, which filled a ballroom for a lively discussion on shop rates, were both “noteworthy.”
“The feedback on these sessions was incredibly positive, and we look forward to expanding on these programs next year,” she said.
The show also hosted a wide range of dealer education and training meetings ahead of the exhibition floor’s opening.
This year’s selected charity for the show was Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville, with close to $10,000 raised. Dealers who donated were entered to win an Ultimate Prize package, which included an Aluma trailer hauling a 4-wheeler, among many other prizes, with D&E Karts & Kars taking home the goodies.
New for 2023 were the exhibitor awards for presentation space creativity. Winners were:
- Specialty Product Technologies, for best 10x10 booth
- Valcrum, for best booth smaller than 1,000 sq. ft.
- RawMaxx, for best booth larger than 1,000 sq. ft.; and
- Terran Industries, for best new exhibitor.
“Many exhibitors have commented that the 2023 shotiww was a remarkably successful and a profitable one. As a result, we are seeing a lot of commitment for next year’s show,” said Rick McConnell, NATDA chief executive officer. “We sold out of exhibit square footage early for the 2023 show and things appear to be on track for a repeat performance. The entire NATDA team is excited for 2024 and is committed to delivering the absolute best experience in the industry.”
Indeed, capping off this milestone year, the NATDA Trailer Show was named to Trade Show Executive’s prestigious Gold 100 list of top trade shows for its previous event, and to the annual The Next 50 list of fastest growing trade shows. The show made the list in three categories: exhibit square footage, exhibiting companies, and total attendance—meaning it likely will be honored again.
The NATDA Trailer Show will return to Nashville again at Music City Center in 2024, from August 28-29. The NATDA expects the show floor to sell out quickly based on the number of already-committed exhibitors returning.