ITTES 2016: The next frontier

simonQ&A WITH SIMON COBURN, DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL TRUCK, TRAILER & EQUIPMENT SHOW.

Simon, you’ve joined the ITTES team right after the 2014 event. With the fifth instalment now confirmed, what’s your vision for the upcoming show?

Put simply, our vision is to completely redefine what a truck show should be. It’s a big statement, but we know it will change the Australian truck show landscape for good.

How did you come to that conclusion?

The very first thing we did after wrapping up the 2014 show was to create a think tank that would examine all the elements of previous events. In doing so, we quickly realised that you can’t just stick to a proven concept if you want to continue to deliver on the ever changing needs of the industry – so we went out there and started collecting industry feedback. It’s been an eye-opening process and helped us refine our vision for what a modern truck event should look like now and in ten years’ time.

What was the result of that process?

What we realised was that a truck show has to be more than just a showcase of heavy equipment in the traditional sense. Our industry is a highly collaborative place and constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation, so we needed to create something that would bring out that side of it. The result is a new, modern concept that will set the standard for excellence and engagement.

What does the new concept look like in detail?

We now look at the industry from a more holistic perspective – from the vehicle itself to the pavement below – and involve all stakeholders along the way.
Next to the truck, trailer and equipment exhibition, we added a dedicated Roads & Civil Works Expo to the mix, as well
as a stand-alone Waste Management exhibition. On top
of that, we’ll have huge Moving Display zones and a Test Track where our guests can watch the latest equipment operating on site. Knowing that the development of the next generation is critical to the on-going growth of our industry, we will also include a special Education and Careers Pavilion. It will inform the next generation about the variety of careers available in the transport and industry logistics community.

That does sound like a lot of change…

It’s definitely an evolutionary leap – not just for ITTES itself, but for every trucking event in Australia. Our two guiding principles remain the same, though.
Firstly, we believe that a trade show should create business opportunities for everyone involved. With our new concept, we will be able to achieve clear, positive outcomes and provide access to new opportunities in markets many haven’t even considered yet. Secondly, we want to give

our show a solid foundation that goes beyond business as usual. So we commit to promoting the trucking industry as a whole – to the general public, the authorities and especially the young generation.

When planning the 2016 show, we made sure every element we added would be in line with those two principles.

Why is it so urgent to rethink the fundamentals of truck events in Australia?

In a time where mining activity is waning and Australia’s economy has to re-invent itself to remain competitive, I believe we all have a certain responsibly to help shape the future of our country. ITTES 2016 can certainly contribute to that – by opening up to a new, high-growth industry sector like waste management, and giving the infrastructure and civil works community a forum that will allow it to interact directly with the truck market. We bring together all the missing parts to create an environment that will actively encourage collaboration at a scale never seen before in Australia.

How did you make sure your concept was what the industry really wanted?

We have shared the concept with all major industry associations in Australia to get some first-hand feedback. After all, they represent the people who buy equipment and keep our nation moving.

All of them have embraced the idea wholeheartedly and committed to supporting us on our journey, because they know we won’t just stage another trade event in 2016.
We want to change the game for good and redefine what
a truck show should be. It should be a place where we do business, of course, but it should also provide room to learn from each other and nurture the next generation. That’s a powerful proposition, and their support shows we’re onto something big.