Photo: Josh Fisher/Fleet Owner
Chris Spear, ATA president and CEO, speaks at the 2019 ATA Management Conference and Exhibition in San Diego.

ATA, Women in Trucking make fall conferences virtual

July 29, 2020
The American Trucking Associations still plans to hold its virtual management conference in October. WIT, however, is moving its conference from an in-person event in September to an online show over two days in November.

The American Trucking Associations’ fall management conference is going virtual, the organization announced in a letter to members. This comes a few days after the Women In Trucking Association (WIT) changed its fall conference to an online event.

Up until the July 28 announcement, the ATA had been working to still hold the annual Management Conference & Exhibition (MCE) at a resort outside Denver from Oct. 24 to 27. More than 2,000 trucking professionals attended last year’s MCE in San Diego. 

In his letter to members, Chris Spear, the ATA president and CEO, said the association has been working closely with the Gaylord Rockies Resort to make the event safe. But local officials put an end to that work as much of the nation still grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than 4 million and killed nearly 150,000 in the U.S.

“Unfortunately the state of Colorado and the city of Aurora have recently put additional restrictions in place that will not allow us to continue with an in-person event, and we don’t anticipate those restrictions changing much this year,” Spear wrote. “The decision was made unanimously this morning by the ATA officers to move MCE to a virtual event.”

The ATA organizers said they would be in touch with vendors and others who had booked booths or sponsorships. “While virtual events don’t provide an opportunity for one-on-one conversations, we are excited about some of the opportunities to connect our membership together,” he wrote.

“In the meantime, we are putting final touches on our virtual program, which will allow us to continue with our policy discussions, education sessions and overall great programs,” Spear added. “We plan to continue with many of the programs already in place and will address issues that can help our industry recover from the pandemic and move forward.”

The ATA MCE joins countless other events that have been forced to move from in-person to virtual because of the pandemic. The WIT’s sixth annual conference and exhibition was supposed to be held in Dallas from Sept. 23 to 25. Instead, the group will hold a virtual event on Nov. 12 and 13. 

“This decision was made in conjunction with soliciting feedback from more than 400 WIT members, sponsors, exhibitors and other key stakeholders, which has confirmed that our community is fully supportive of a virtual conference,” said Brian Everett, the event organizer.

“Diversity in experience, skills and perspective is proven to be critical to the success of any company in transportation, and gender diversity is a critical path to this goal,” added Ellen Voie, WIT president and CEO. “This conference is one way for our industry to share new ideas and best practices that encourage the employment of women, recognize their accomplishments and success stories, and ultimately minimize obstacles faced by women in this industry.”

Like the ATA, WIT plans to still hold educational sessions, panel discussions, and virtual exhibitions during its online event.

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