Hard to believe that the first truck show I ever attended was this year. I managed to make it for the first day of MATS (Mid American Truck Show). Needless to say I was hooked. Not so much on MATS which is truly a great show, but on truck shows themselves. Where else do you get such a diverse group of people interested in the same thing, trucking. Whether your in radio, a company driver, business owner, owner operator, or an enthusiast, we all share a similar passion for trucking.
For me my journey to better health as a driver spurred my interest to learn more than just the driving side, of trucking. It was to learn about all the aspects of trucking, and to fully embrace it as a lifestyle. Trucking if you are going to be truly successful as a driver is just that. It is a lifestyle.
I was fortunate at MATS and made several good friends that have encouraged me to pursue this blog and my goals. Not only personal goals on health, but to do my best to represent the best that our industry has to offer to people both in and out of the industry.
All of them encouraged me to go to GATS (Great American Truck Show)August 21-23 at the Dallas Convention Center, Dallas Tx . All of them commented while it is a smaller show than MATS it has a charm that is all its own. One of the things I am starting to realize in my research and planning is this. MATS may be the largest in terms of size and vendors. To me it seems to focus on the latest and greatest in innovations. In many ways it is overwhelming with the sheer volume of information, glitz and glamour. GATS as I am researching and preparing for it is already giving me the feeling that its focus is on relationships.
From the wonderful, and helpful event staff, to vendors I have already begun to speak with about meeting them at GATS to learn about their products, and how they can improve a drivers quality of life. To various groups that are doing charity events, and events to promote driver wellness. GATS truly has a more personal and family feel.
It is sad that of all the major OEM’s only Freightliner has chosen to participate this year. Why is it sad? Those companies who are not attending are missing the chance to build lasting relationships with drivers, and other customers.
One of the lessons I learned in retail. It is the relationship with a customer that ultimately makes the sale. I would gladly spend as much time with a customer on a 5 dollar sale as a 500, or 5000 dollar sale. Why? I knew if they trusted and respected me they would come to me first, when they wanted their next computer or cell phone. I had many customers that would come in for a pack of batteries or a small part. They would end up leaving with hundreds if not thousands of dollars of merchandise. I took the time to get to know their needs and build a long term relationship. While it may not have paid off that night. In the end it always paid off for me.
Which brings me back to getting ready for GATS this year. My blog may seem a bit random lately, and up until GATS. Topics ranging from socks, to bone marrow donation, to health screenings for drivers, and a product review or 2. In short anything I feel that is interesting about what will be happening at GATS this year.
The purpose is for a few reasons. One I intend to try and do some real time blogging/reporting from GATS. Two to let those who are attending GATS or wish they could to get a glimpse of some of what is planned. Third and last is to encourage those that read this blog to give me ideas of people to meet, and vendors to see at GATS. You can send me your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not plan on just blogging about tech stories, and product review of GATS. I intend to look for those life lessons that are learned from experience being on the road and sharing them with you. I am hoping to have interviews with drivers, industry leaders, and am reaching out to various music artists that will be at GATS. To find stories that make you smile, laugh, possibly cry, and most importantly think.
It is my hope to meet as many of you as possible at GATS. If you know of someone that I should meet or a product or vendor I should see please let me know. In the meantime I hope you enjoy some of the stories that I will be writing about till GATS.