Headed to MATS

Every year the Parthenon team heads to Louisville, Ky., to attend the Mid-America Trucking Show and represent Road King magazine, the trucking magazine Parthenon publishes exclusively for TA TravelCenters and Petro Stopping Centers.

The heavy-duty trucking show, called MATS for short, is a trade show for truck drivers and industry professionals. The show gives drivers and companies the opportunity to get together and showcase the latest products, services and industry trends. Not to mention the Stars and Stripes Truck Competition where drivers show off their truck’s beauty appeal.

The show starts March 31 and ends April 2, but we’ll be up there early to catch all the press events about the latest and greatest in trucking. This will be my first year attending MATS with the Parthenon crew and I’m lucky enough to go for the show’s 40th anniversary.

The trade show began in the early ’70s with 85 exhibitors and 4,000 guests. Now, it’s not surprising to see more than 1,000 exhibitors, and the show has been known to round up more than 80,000 attendees in its time. At the show, they say that if you want to conduct business in the trucking industry, you have to be at MATS.

We are also lucky to attend the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) awards banquet, where last year Parthenon was honored with nine industry awards for the writing and design for Road King. Our own creative director, Michael Nott, took home three awards including a Gold award for cover design. And Road King Senior Editor David A. Kolman took home the TWNA Lifetime Achievement Award.

I’ll be back with updates about the goings-on at MATS, and we will share pictures and video too. What am I most excited about? I’m excited to experience MATS, but also to meet drivers and talk face to face with the people I interview and write about in each issue. But my biggest hope is to meet Mack the Bulldog (aka Irv) after getting to know him in the article A Dog’s Life in the Road King May/June 2010 issue.

Until then, we’ll see ya at MATS.