The Brisbane Truck Show proves it’s in it for the long haul
Words by Todd Hacking - CEO, Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia
The Brisbane Truck Show has played an important role for the trucking industry and its people for over 50 years.
From humble beginnings in 1968, with just 21 exhibitors, it has grown bigger and bigger to become a central meeting place for the industry.
People now travel from all over Australia and across the world to attend.
In 2017, 8 per cent of attendees were international and 40 per cent travelled from other parts of Australia. They come together as an industry, to catch up with mates and enjoy the showcase of innovation and technology.
On display are the latest innovation, technology, and next-generation trucks and trailers.
And this year, it was bigger and better than ever.
The 2019 Brisbane Truck Show featured 300 exhibitors and over 35,000 visitors – and we’re very excited to say that there were a large number of first-time special events and initiatives taking place as part of the launch of Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week.
Events and activations taking place across the city
Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week is the new umbrella event encompassing the Brisbane Truck Show and the many significant complementary events, activities, and activations, both within the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre and across the city.
It was our mission to increase awareness of the show, capitalise on the opportunity to educate the industry and engage with attendees and the general public where possible, with a focus on six main themes: safety, sustainability, careers, innovation, knowledge and community.
What this is all about is trying to tell our story to the entire community and create awareness around the importance of the heavy vehicles industry - to positively showcase how we are focusing on research and development, evolving as an industry, remaining innovative, and at the end of the day we're doing remarkable things.
For the first time ever, we stretched the event beyond the walls of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre.
The South Bank Roadhouse concept featured a great display of trucks and trailers for the community to enjoy - with the line-up of vehicles in Little Stanley Street and the trucks that took over Reddacliff Place and Queen Street Mall.
Highlights of the week
Another new initiative was the Jobs Hub, an exciting opportunity for industry to promote various jobs on offer. Whether there are young people who are looking for an apprenticeship or whether there are people changing careers, they can go and find out everything they need to know.
Because of what happened to the passenger car industry, there's a misconception that automotive manufacturing is on the decline - with heavy vehicles it couldn't be further from the truth.
The industry is thriving, it’s evolving, and it’s always changing and it offers many diverse career paths. The Jobs Hub is a great way to demonstrate this to the public and leverage off the event’s success.
Another highlight of the Australian Heavy Vehicle Industry Week rollout was the KPMG Insights Centre. For the entire four days of the show, there were free seminars running throughout the day. It’s a place where visitors can go to hear information that will give them valuable knowledge to take back to their business.
For us, it’s a great opportunity to educate both locals and the industry at such an important event.
And for industry leaders, there was a very special Executive Club event hosted by Brisbane Economic Development Agency - a new initiative designed for the exchange of ideas, networking and forming lasting relationships.
In an industry like trucking, there’s not a lot of opportunity to network, so with this we hope they can all learn about the show, learn about and from each other, and create that peer network that’s so important in any industry.
Engaging with local businesses and organisations
Collaboration played a key role in the success of launching this event across Brisbane also, and this was evident particularly with our South Bank Roadhouse concept.
Brisbane EDA facilitated a partnership between us and South Bank Corporation, representing the precinct’s traders.
As a result, Little Stanley Street was closed to allow the display of trucks and trailers, there was live music, extended trading, and a package of discounts and vouchers.
That's a great opportunity for our attendees to enjoy after they’ve been to the show - to catch up over a beer with colleagues, friends and peers and talk about what they did at the show, general industry talk and unite.
Many exhibitors hold functions outside the event after the truck show is done for the day - events from a 20-person dinner at a hotel, right up to a 70 or 700-person event. It’s all happening. So there’s a lot of engagement with local businesses and organisations, and no doubt it’s a huge boost for the local economy and the buzz of Brisbane as a city also.
At the end of the day we hope that as many people as possible will be inspired by what they see to find out more, to come along and check out the show and various events for themselves, whether they’re in the industry or just want to know more.
It’s going to be exciting to see what the next 50 years brings.
See how Brisbane EDA, South Bank Corporation and HVIA worked together to make the Brisbane Truck Show 2019 a whole-of-city experience for delegates.