Comment: Why industry events are important

When you work in an industry, it can be useful to attend industry-related events

It’s a way to connect with other people who work or are interested in your industry. It’s good to build your networks, and getting together to meet every now and then can be fun. The transport industry is a competitive and regulated industry. Keeping up with new information is vital for a company’s success. Understanding changes to regulations can be time-consuming.

Organisations run conferences for different industry groups, but over the last few years, such events have become expensive and fail to attract the younger generation, so mostly they can end up with the same people attending year after year and that becomes
a bit boring. A high number of suppliers have no option but to support conferences because that’s the only opportunity they get to meet with the industry. At some conferences we have attended, the operators form a small percentage of overall attendees. In fact, most attendees are trade suppliers or industry associations.

When the COVID pandemic hit, restrictions were put in place around the number of people allowed to attend events, which has made industries think about other options to replace having a conference. 

The ATA (Australian Trucking Association) recently had an online conference and awards ceremony. You had to register and then the conference started just like any other conference at a certain time and you could tune in and watch. It was a new experience that our team thoroughly enjoyed.


The Trucking Industry awards were presented later in the day with all finalists tuned in so you could still see the reaction when they won. It was great that our whole team could tune into this event and listen to the presentations. While it doesn’t replace the interaction you get from meeting face to face, it was a great experience and was executed professionally from the team at ATA.

Trucking company owners and operators are short on time and money, so the New Zealand Trucking Association put together a way for the industry to get together once a year at the Trucking Industry Summit. We held our first national summit last year, which was attended by more than 200 people from around New Zealand. The feedback we received was that it was a worthwhile event to attend due to the fact it was only one day, and the presentations were short and informative. We’ve been able to restructure the event slightly to make it even better than last time and this time around it will include more networking time.

The New Zealand Trucking Industry Summit is taking place on Saturday, 21 November in Christchurch at Riccarton Racecourse. It is a one-day modern conference. The summit is sponsored by Teletrac Navman and this enables the event to be free to attend, however, you will have to register, as numbers are limited to the size of the venue. The event now includes morning tea and lunch.

Eroad are sponsoring the event at the completion of the summit. You will be able to enjoy some refreshments and catch up with your friends or continue the conversation with the presenters. The whole point is to get the industry together, as due to the COVID pandemic, the industry has not had a chance to meet in 2020, so this will be the only opportunity.

Connecting the regulators with the operators and hearing first-hand what’s new and what the issues are is valuable information for operators.

During the day, there will be presenters from NZTA talking about Safer Commercial Transport, Permitting, 2-5 Driver Project, and Weigh Right. Worksafe will given an update and so will Tim McKenzie on what’s going wrong and what not to do. There are also quick-fire supplier sessions (a five-minute introduction from industry suppliers who have product or services that they want attendees to know about).

CVST will update on what’s topical right now. We’ve invited politicians to attend but until the election is over, we will not know which party gets in.

There will also be presentations on innovation, sustainability, and driver health and wellbeing.

EROAD will be setting up a health checkpoint for attendees to get a quick free health check while they are there.

The programme will be flexible until we have all the presenters confirmed. It’s a great line-up so far and is fast becoming an event not to miss. It’s free to attend with morning tea and lunch provided. and it’s on a Saturday so it does not interfere with a workday.

If you can attend, I would suggest you register now, as we already have registrations for half of the places. Send us an email on

To find out about who is presenting, go to our website

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