Photo: Michael Catarevas/Fleet Owner

Pre-TMC: Starting the big trucking show takes planning and precision

March 16, 2019
Thousands of fleet and trucking professionals descend upon Atlanta this week for ATA's Technology & Maintenance Council Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

ATLANTA. The 2019 American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition is home to trucking’s leading fleet professionals, vehicle manufacturers, and component suppliers. Thousands of industry and media people will attend. It takes place March 17-21 at Atlanta’s Georgia World Congress, but the months, weeks and days leading up to it take intense planning and logistical scheduling.

On Saturday, March 16 Fleet Owner asked one of the lead managers for his take on how it all comes together.

What’s it like to set up a show this size?

“We start setting up Tuesday, taping down where the booths will be on the floor. Then Thursday the bit larger trucks come in after the show opens Monday night. It takes this long to get all the companies in, about 400 companies. All of them have huge trucks or some kind of vehicles to bring in. Then some multi-level booths, two-story booths, 100,000-sq.-ft. booths. It takes a while.”

You work with each company individually on their space or truck?

We work with our team to schedule when trucks come in. Once you get one in you don’t want it blocking others from getting in. So larger trucks come in first, followed by smaller trucks, then the companies that don’t have trucks but have huge equipment booths.”

How far in advance does it take to get a show of this size set up?

“We start selling booths in July for the March show. Logistics start in October for a show this size.”

There must be a lot of security?


What’s it like to see it go from nothing to something like this, about halfway, to completion?

“It’s like an organized mess. It goes from like a blank slate to a store, a huge store, so it’s pretty neat to watch it happen.”

About the Author

Michael Catarevas

An experienced, award-winning journalist and editor, Catarevas began his career in trade publishing, working at Chain Store Age Executive and National Home Center News. He also served as the longtime editor for two globally circulated fitness titles, Exercise & Health and Men’s Workout. He then moved to Tennis magazine and as executive editor. He has also been a frequent freelance writer, contributing profiles, in-depth news stories, and features for Connecticut magazine and other publications. Before coming aboard at FleetOwner, he was managing editor for the New Canaan Advertiser newspaper. Catarevas previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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