natda-logoThe North American Trailer Dealers Association (NATDA) 2009 Trade Show and Convention set for Sept. 12-14 at the Expo Center in Louisville, Ky., is focused on bringing the trailer dealers, manufacturers and vendors together for three days of trade show, education, workshops and parties, according to the trade group.

The inaugural show in 2008 hosted 117 exhibiting companies and was battened by 268 trailer dealerships. This is the only show in North America that offers education, training, products and services geared specifically for the trailer dealers, according to a NATDA release. It has quickly become the “must attend” event for the trailer industry.

In the past, manufacturers and vendors would have to search to find the right dealer to sell their product line to. “We will bring more potential dealer prospects to a manufacturer or vendor in a three-day period than they could ever reach out to on their own,” the St. Petersburg, Fla.-based association said.

New for 2009 is the Manufacturer/Dealer Meetings.

“I have been asked to speak at many manufacturer meetings, and besides being very costly to put on, many are filled with vendors and guest speakers to provide education for the meeting. Our idea was for manufacturers to be able to host a 2-3 hour meeting to discuss the “meat and potatoes” topics that deal directly with their own dealer base, and leave the guest speakers, and education to us,” said Andy Ackerman, president and co-founder of NATDA.

“Having dealer meetings during the convention is a great convenience since the dealers will already be there for the convention. We want to encourage interaction between the dealers and manufacturers at the show,” said Ackerman.

Currently Aluma, Carry-On, United, Diamond C, Platinum Coach, and a few others will be hosting their dealer meetings during the NATDA Trade Show & Convention. With the addition of this new program  NATDA fully expects in excess of 500-plus trailer dealerships at this year’s show.

The three-day event will consist of dealer education, manufacturer and vendor displays, product demonstrations, workshops and receptions. This show will even host technology vendors with software systems like finance programs, dealer management systems and even trailer rental software programs.

Dealer education has been a very hot topic of conversation and it will be a focal point of the convention. The days of a dealer making a living by just selling trailers are quickly coming to an end. Dealers are starting to run their operations more like the auto industry, meaning sales, parts, service and finance are all departments within the dealership that need to be held accountable to achieve profit.

“Dealers have had no where to turn for education and training and that is exactly what we will provide” said Amy Rubenstein, NATDA’s vice president and co-founder.

The manufacturers displaying units at the show are:

  • Big Tex & Circle 
  • Alum Line
  • Aluma
  • ATC
  • Bloomer Trailer
  • Blue Ribbon
  • Bri-Mar
  • Cam Superline
  • Car Mate
  • Cargo Mate
  • Carry On
  • CM Trailers & CM Truck Beds
  • Continental Cargo
  • Corn Pro
  • Delta Trailers
  • Diamond C
  • Eclipse Aluminum
  • EZ Loader Trailers
  • Haulmark
  • Homesteader
  • Lakota Trailers
  • Livin Lite Rec Vehicles
  • Load-Master
  • Master Tow, Inc.
  • Merhow
  • MidSota Manufacturing
  • Newman Industries, Inc
  • Pace American
  • Performance MFG
  • Performance MFG
  • Platinum Coach
  • Premier Trailer
  • Rance
  • Royal Cargo Trailers
  • S&H Trailers
  • Snowbear Ltd
  • Stealth Enterprises
  • Sundowner Trailers
  • Titan
  • Trailex Inc.
  • United Trailers
  • Wells Cargo