To the MATS
Thanks to a major expansion, the trucking industry’s premier trade show is bigger and better than ever
A record amount of floor space means more exhibitors, more fun and what may be a banner year for attendance at the highly anticipated 2008 Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS), March 27-29 in Louisville, Ky.
Renovations to the North Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center are complete and will house new exhibitors such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay initiative, devoted to fuel efficiency and other energy-saving measures.
Now in its 38th year, MATS is the trucking industry’s largest event, with more than 1 million square feet of air-conditioned indoor exhibit space and an additional 200,000 square feet outside.
It’s a far cry from the inaugural MATS show in 1972, which brought in 4,000 guests and 80 exhibitors and took up just a portion of the West Wing of the Center. Today, it’s a powerhouse event with more than 1,000 exhibitors and 75,000 attendees.
The past 37 years have provided many memorable moments at “The Greatest (Trucking) Show on Earth.” There’s been flooding, power outages, weddings broadcast over satellite radio, new product and service unveilings and celebrities and entertainers from around the world. In 1998, the Internet Technology Center debuted. Ten years later, there’s hardly a trucker who doesn’t surf the Web and use email.
“We’ve seen a bit of everything and everyone at MATS,” says Toby Young, president of Exhibit Management Associates, Inc., which has put on the show since it began. “Every year at least one exhibitor ‘wows’ me. Whether it’s a new double-decker display, outrageous custom truck, or innovative concept that has never been showcased before MATS, the show continues to impress attendees and exhibitors alike.”
The 2005 show hosted people from all 50 states and 43 far-flung foreign countries. The following year’s show broke records, hosting more than 80,000 visitors and 1,144 exhibitors.
Will 2008 smash that record? That’s up to you.
2008 Mid-America Trucking Show
Thursday, March 27: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday, March 28: 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 29: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
WHERE: Kentucky Exposition Center, Louisville, Ky.
FEATURES: The Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship, The Big-Rig Build-Off, The Expediter Experience, Recruitment Center, Internet and Technology Center