A record-breaking number of exhibiting suppliers and independent heavy-duty distributors participated in the 11th annual Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week (HDAW’16) in Las Vegas, according to HDAW organizers CVSN, HDDA and HDMA. The annual conference was held Jan. 25-28 at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
More than 2,300 aftermarket industry leaders attended the three-day conference, including more than 1,500 supplier and 560 distributor executives. Available booth spaces for exhibitors at the HDAW Product Expo sold out more than a month prior to the start of the event, with 526 exhibits, resulting in new attendance records for the conference. In addition, 1,524 one-on-one meetings were held throughout the four-day event.
“We can often get a strong feel for how the year will go, based on the level of engagement and excitement at HDAW. Initial feedback suggests that HDAW 2016 was a tremendous success for attendees, packing the week with an outstanding lineup of resource speakers and greater attendance on the trade show floor than ever before,” said Rob Phillips, president and chief operating officer of Phillips Industries, and HDAW’16 co-chair. “The halls were buzzing with activity and excitement as several suppliers launched new products and programs into the aftermarket – all geared toward upgrading their business to the next levels.”
“Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week is an incomparable opportunity to bring together suppliers and distributors, to tackle important issues that the industry is facing. In one week we explored developing trends in technology and merchandising that everyone needs to consider, to take their businesses to the next level,” said Jorge Mederos, president of Super Truck Parks and HDAW’16 co-chair. “The continued growth in HDAW participation by industry members, demonstrates that the value and importance of HDAW to the heavy-duty aftermarket is recognized by all.”
Close to 800 people attended the opening general session as Dr. Frank Luntz presented “It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear,” which focused on words being used to influence and motivate. In his connecting and humorous presentation, Luntz shared his wisdom on how the words we choose can change the course of politics and of life in this country.
Several awards were presented during HDAW’16 as well. Sadler Power Train was named the 14th annual Truck Parts & Service Distributor of the Year, sponsored by Minimizer and Meritor. The award was presented by Truck Parts & Service Editor Lucas Deal, Meritor Vice President, Aftermarket and Trailer Craig Frohock and Minimizer’s Director of Marketing, Steve Hansen, and was accepted by Sadler Power Train’s President, John Sadler. The Distributor of the Year award stands as the independent aftermarket’s most respected and highest honor. Top performing distributors are chosen by peers, manufacturer representatives and other industry leaders.
The 2016 Heavy Duty Industry Hall of Fame Award was presented to Dave Scheer, Inland Truck Parts’ CEO, by Gary Meteer, director of global commercial products for IHS Automotive. Inland Truck Parts, under the direction of Scheer, won the first Truck Parts & Service Distributor of the Year Award in 2002 and he was a driving force behind the development of HDAW.
Four educational seminars were held during HDAW’16: “It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear,” presented by Dr. Frank Luntz, of Luntz Global; “Technology Trends – How to Compete in Current and Future Conditions,” presented by Scott Klososky, of Future Point of View LLC; “The Importance of Merchandising,” by Butch Hill of Hill Diversified Group LLC; “Thriving In the Age of Distraction,” presented by Curt Steinhorst of The Promentum Group; and “How Emerging Technologies Can Generate Aftermarket Opportunities,” by Derek Kaufman, of Schwartz Advisors and president of C3 Network LLC.
The 2016 annual All-Industry Reception and Pinewood Challenge, sponsored by Minimizer, proved again to be an exciting event for all 27 race participants. Winners of the Pinewood race were:
- first place – Dorman Stealth, Dorman Products (repeat winner)
- second place – Triangle No. 2, Triangle Suspension
- third place – Bendix “Blue Thunder”
Winners of the Concours D’elegance (Best designed and best looking trucks):
- first place – Phillips Industries
- second place – Bendix “Blue Thunder”
- third place – Weldon Truck Parts “Legacy”
This year, HDAW invited The Wyakin Warrior Foundation to participate in the event, to teach attendees about their great work, and raise awareness for their cause. Jeff Bacon, president of Wyakin Warrior, said, “We are so appreciative of the Meritor cause marketing campaign, and along with the support in cash, checks and pledges provided during the three-day conference, HDAW has become an incredible support to our organization. Additionally, we have gained exposure to a wonderful industry that has taken on our mission as their own; through invitations to be a part of other associations’ annual meetings and conferences, offers to be professional mentors for our warriors, and significant interest in hiring Wyakin Warriors.”
HDAW’17 will be held Jan. 23-26, 2017, at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.