What has become this country's largest trucking show has once again been postponed.
Organizers Monday, Feb. 15, officially announced the Mid-America Trucking Show will not to be held this year. Instead, the 50th anniversary show will be staged March 24-26, 2022. Plans had been discussed to move this year's show from March to September, but that will not happen.
MATS was the first major trucking event to cancel last year as the COVID-19 pandemic began to grow. Plans had been made to hold the show at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville as in the past, with increased health and safety measures. However, organizers canceled the show outright.
In announcing the cancellation of the show this year, the show's President Toby Young wrote on the MATS website:
"The primary goal of the Mid-America Trucking Show has always been to bring the entire industry together for the largest and most comprehensive, face-to-face event in trucking. With this goal in mind, MATS 50th has been scheduled for March 24-26, 2022. These dates ensure the full support of our industry at an uncompromised, large-scale, in-person event that meets our shared goals and delivers the caliber of show that we have all come to expect from MATS."
"At MATS 50th, we intend to set a new standard for trucking industry events. We are developing new in-person experiences that will further engage attendees and provide exhibitors more opportunities to directly connect with their audience. The MATS Experience will feature more education, exhibits, events, and entertainment than ever before.
"We are excited to have firm dates for the 50th anniversary of MATS and look forward to working alongside our industry friends and family. We promise it will be worth the wait.
The new-look MATS will, according to Young, include:
- Opening night celebration and networking event
- Expanded education, product demonstrations, and speaking opportunities
- Larger-than-Ever PKY Truck Beauty Championship
- More outdoor events and entertainment
- Interactive MATS history experiences
Over the years MATS had become the venue at which equipment manufacturers rolled out new products and some trucking policy and regulatory issues were addressed. It also has featured hundreds of vendors and plenty of live musical entertainment.
Last year saw most truck shows and related events canceled, scaled back considerably, or moved online. The COVID-19 pandemic led to the cancelation and demise of the Great American Truck Show, held the past 20 years in Dallas each August. However, the American Truck Historical Society successfully moved its annual vintage truck show and convention online. The annual Mothers Day truck convoy to benefit the Philadelphia area Make-A-Wish organization held a hybrid event with a small gathering of trucks, and some online activities.
The Truckload Carriers Association recently announced its annual convention -- Truckload 2021: Las Vegas -- will include an online component for those who are unable to attend in person. The convention will be held April 17-20 at the Wynn Resort, and many events will be streamed online.
Also going on as scheduled is the North America Commercial Vehicle Show, which will be held Sept. 28-30 in Atlanta.