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NAFA Welcomes 2,100+ Fleet Professionals to I&E 2024 — Largest Attendance in 6 Years

Fleet professionals from 46 U.S. states, 14 countries, and 6 Canadian provinces convened this week in San Antonio, Texas, for a record-breaking attendance of the largest fleet industry gathering since 2018. Attendees were extraordinarily engaged throughout the week, with most sessions consistently at standing-room only.

I&E is the premier professional development and networking event for fleet professionals in every segment, including corporate, government, public safety, utility, education, and more. This year’s theme, “New Frontiers, Big Possibilities,” reflects an industry harnessing the latest technologies and fearlessly embracing the future.

NAFA CEO Bill Schankel wasn’t surprised that fleet industry’s highlight-of-the-year delivered on the promise that everything’s bigger in Texas. “The pre-show numbers told an exciting story, but seeing it all come to life with the enthusiasm of this incredible community was amazing,” he said. “We put our heart and soul into selecting every session and planning every reception, and this week demonstrated the power of our industry when we all come together.”

Hot topics from the 40+ education sessions included leveraging technologies for fleet electrification like wireless charging and new EV battery technologies, autonomous vehicles, the Internet of Things, fleet cybersecurity, future-proofing fleets, recruiting and retaining drivers and technicians, asset management during supply chain delays, EV transition planning, and reaching sustainability goals.

Attendees spent two days on I&E Expo Hall floor, finding solutions and advice to their biggest pain points from among 230+ exhibitors. The I&E networking opportunities, always a trademark of the event, helped attendees connect with others in their geographical region as well as those who have similar interests in fleet.

“With our world going through this transformational change in transportation technology, fleet leaders are increasingly recognized as critical players in global thought leadership,” Schankel said. “NAFA is dedicated to supporting the professional development of fleet professionals and supporting them in this new role.”

Here are some highlights from this year’s event:

CAFM Graduation. NAFA’s Certified Automotive Fleet Manager (CAFM) is the fleet profession’s most prestigious certification. “We are excited to recognize the outstanding achievements of our CAFM graduates,” says Mike Camnetar, CAFM, NAFA Board President. “These dedicated professionals have completed a comprehensive program that equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to drive innovation and excellence in fleet management. Congratulations to all the graduates.”

Keynotes. Author and keynoter Richard Hadden gave some intriguing insights into the world of work on day one of I&E, including coming trends (e.g., 4-day/32-hour work week) and clear, actionable tips that fleet managers can implement today to recruit and retain the best people. On day two, Ted Cannis from FordPro shared an insider’s view on how his organization has learned to grow productivity and reduce risk. His presentation was followed by a candid OEM Panel Discussion with thought leaders from Ford Pro, GM, Toyota, and Stellantis. Safety expert Brian Fielkow closed out I&E on day three by providing attendees with a roadmap to fleet safety.

100 Best Fleets in the Americas. One of the most anticipated events at I&E is the unveiling of the 100 Best Fleets, which was hosted by Mike Brennan, the program’s chief judge. The 100 Best Fleets recognizes the top-performing fleets in North America. New this year was the unveiling of the top fleets a little each day, building up to the excitement on day three when the top winners were announced.

The 2024 winners for each of the following categories:

  • Best Public Fleet: Dakota County Fleet Management, MN
  • Best Commercial Fleet: Essential Utilities
  • Fleet Professional of the Year Award: Kenny Stimson, Carvana
  • Fleet Technician of the Year Award: Curtis Mullins, City of Round Rock, TX

Media Day. I&E Media Day featured short press briefings by 16 exhibitors debuting new technologies or services at I&E. The top fleet and automotive editors in the nation were in attendance, and the participating companies accepted questions from the press. Read more about media day.

Innovations Showcase People’s Choice Award. Back by popular demand, I&E’s Innovations Showcase provided an interactive innovation zone on the expo floor, spotlighting 13 new technology and service offerings for fleet managers to explore. Hosted by NAFA’s FLEETSolutions magazine editor Carla Kalogeridis, the live portion of the event featured 5-minute speed presentations by each of the innovators across two days, which helped attendees customize their I&E expo experience by previewing the technologies. Attendees voted on their favorite technology, and the People’s Choice Award went to Samsara for their AI-Powered Safety Solutions.

FLEETSolutions Live Breakfast Panel. This first-ever special event, sponsored by Intellishift, featured a top-notch panel of safety experts from BBL Fleet, J.F. Ahern Co., and Davey Resource Group and a hearty breakfast to start day three. Moderated by Intellishift’s Erin Gilchrist, discussion questions were curated from the pages of NAFA’s popular FLEETSolutions magazine, allowing the panel to take the audience on a deeper dive into the publication’s hottest topics.

Ride & Drive. Sponsored by Bobit, I&E’s first Ride & Drive was a huge success. This outdoor experience gave attendees a chance to interact with the latest models and test cutting-edge technologies behind the wheel. Participating OEMs include BMW, Lucid, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Rivian, Stellantis, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Look for more in-depth coverage of the keynotes, education session, debuting technologies, and more in the next issue of FLEETSolutions magazine.