October 20, 2020 3:00 PM, EDT

2020 MCE Kicks Off Under Virtual Format

Chris SpearATA President Chris Spear is set to deliver his state of the industry address Oct. 26 at MCE 2020, which will be held virtually due to the pandemic. (American Trucking Associations)

[Stay on top of transportation news: Get TTNews in your inbox.]

This year’s edition of American Trucking Associations’ flagship event is coming directly to its attendees, wherever they are.

Trucking executives and other industry stakeholders who originally would have traveled to Denver will instead turn their attention online for ATA’s 2020 Management Conference & Exhibition, which will proceed as a virtual event due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

MCE will take place over the course of two weeks, Oct. 19-23 and Oct. 26-28.

“Our industry has met and faced down the challenges that 2020 and the COVID pandemic have presented us, and reimagining MCE is just another one that ATA has risen to meet,” ATA President Chris Spear said. “We have put together a robust program to educate our members and celebrate the industry in ways that will be very familiar to attendees, even if the setting will not be.”

Spear will outline the state of the industry and provide an update on ATA’s initiatives and advocacy efforts in his annual address to MCE attendees on Oct. 26.

Featured speakers at MCE 2020 will include U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, as well as former Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta and former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.).

Wiley Deck, deputy administrator at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, also is scheduled to speak at an Oct. 23 educational session.

Additionally, renowned pollster Neil Newhouse will offer analysis of the trucking industry’s public image and the broader political landscape eight days before Election Day.

Other general sessions will feature industry panel discussions on diversity in the workplace and navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19. Transport Topics will present awards recognizing the heroism of trucking industry professionals who went above and beyond to support the nation’s response to the pandemic.

2019 MCE

A scene from the exhibit hall at MCE 2019. This year’s virtual conference will feature an interactive, digital exhibit floor where attendees can arrange meetings with vendors.
(American Trucking Associations)

A headline session dubbed the “Big Reveal 2020” will feature the latest industry research by the American Transportation Research Institute. ATRI President Rebecca Brewster will join ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello, U.S. Xpress CEO Eric Fuller and Danny Smith, a professional driver and America’s Road Team Captain, to discuss the most pressing issues facing the industry.

“Despite the challenges presented, MCE will feature the same mix of executives, government officials and industry experts, as well as the chances to honor and celebrate the people who make this industry go,” Spear said.

Virtual attendees will have access to a range of educational sessions that will tackle topics such as driver retention, finding affordable insurance, the emergence of electric-powered trucks, connected-vehicle technology and the future of logistics.

Other sessions will explore driver coaching, tire management and truck emissions regulations at the federal level and in the state of California.

Meanwhile, ATA policy committees will meet during the conference to address key industry issues and help shape policy positions.

The MCE exhibit hall also has made the transition to a virtual format for this year’s event.

Attendees seeking the latest in trucking technology, equipment and related services will be able to explore an interactive, digital floor plan and set up appointments with vendors showcasing their products.

Want more news? Listen to today's daily briefing: