Truck Stop Trade Association NATSO Remaking Annual Show for 2018
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — NATSO, the trade association representing truckstops and travel plazas, has redesigned its annual convention and trade show NATSO Connect, which will take place in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 10-13.
Formerly known as the NATSO Show, NATSO Connect seeks to foster meaningful connections for truckstop and travel plaza owners and operators, as well as their vendors, according to the association.
“Considering the changes facing our industry, we want our attendees to leave our event armed with an understanding of how these changes will affect them, as well as strategies for meeting new challenges,” said NATSO President and CEO Lisa Mullings. “At NATSO Connect, with the support of industry vendors, we are creating experiences that will leave truckstop operators feeling inspired and mobilized to pursue real change.”
Pamela Hayes, NATSO’s vice president, strategic partnerships, added, “The NATSO Show has always brought together vendors with the industry’s top executives, key decision makers and buyers, but this year at NATSO Connect we’re taking it a step further by integrating even more peer-to-peer discussions, a deep dive into how national retail trends are affecting travel plazas' unique realities, and problem-solving sessions geared toward helping operators grow their business.”
NATSO Connect will also provide truckstop and travel plaza operators from around the country with an opportunity to gain insight from Bob Costello, senior vice president and chief economist at the American Trucking Associations. Costello’s session, sponsored by Chevron Products Co., Global Lubricants, Americas Region, will offer key insights into the critical economic factors that will influence the trucking industry in 2018.
“There are three big buckets of freight, and they are related to the consumer, construction and factory output,” Costello said. “I’ll talk about those as well as what is going on with employment, how people are spending money and the driver shortage.”
During the much-anticipated session, a panel of truckstop operators will ask Costello the industry’s most pertinent questions in a discussion led by NATSO Vice President of Public Affairs Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman. Jim Hays, owner of Dodge City Petro in Hanceville, Ala., and Elizabeth Warring, president and CEO of Busy Bee in Madison, Fla., are among the confirmed panelists.
“Numbers without an analytical framework can be white noise. For NATSO Connect 2018, we’ve designed an interactive panel to help our members go beyond the numbers to get a deep understanding of what the economic indicators mean for them,” said Wlazlowski Neuman.
Alexandria-based NATSO is the trade association of the U.S. travel plaza and truck stop industry. Founded in 1960, NATSO represents the industry on legislative and regulatory matters; serves as the official source of information on the diverse travel plaza and truck stop industry; and provides education to its members.