Trucker Mama – MATS 2016: In the Rearview Mirror


Like many of you, we found our way to the Mid-America Trucking Show this weekend.

We experienced a vibrant show and a thriving city – all through a toddler’s eyes.

Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) is no small production.  You can walk miles and miles, and not see the entire show.  Even with all of that space to cover every aisle is full of people enjoying the show, learning key industry updates and exploring new products.

We were blown away.

We primarily went for our little one to see the big trucks, and that was certainly easy to do and at nearly every turn.  She even got to climb up into a few.  Between that and the huge ice cream cone, the show did not disappoint.  Long after our daughter fell asleep in her stroller, my husband and I continued to take it in.

MATS 2016, the 45th year of the show, is always held in Louisville – making it one of the longest-standing conferences in the country.  That first year was impressive. In 1971, the inaugural show had nearly 100 exhibitors and 4,000 attendees.  Forty-five shows later and the show has exploded exponentially.  This year’s show had ten-fold more exhibitors and nearly 70,000 guests through the door, not to mention 7 exhibit halls, covering 1 million square feet of space.  Not too shabby.

The show included:  a Craig Morgan concert, a beer garden, nearly 20 different seminars, with topics ranging from: cargo securement regulation training to starting a trucking company, and even, a truck beauty pageant (that would be one big sash and tiara!).

John Wooden, coaching extraordinaire, once said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”  This rings true in so many places in my life: first job after college, figuring out marriage, learning to be a mom.  It seemed easy, until I actually started doing it.  This is the beauty of conferences, professional growth and continued learning – after you know it all, there’s always more to know.

What did you think of the conference this year?  What did you learn?  How have you acted on what you learned in past years?  I haven’t been in close to a decade – and it felt like a completely different conference.  What was your experience?

As always, I look forward to hearing what you think of this article and what else you would like to see in this spot.

Take care of yourself and drive home safely,

Trucker Mama

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