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Highlights from Day One of NATSO Connect

Posted in: Truckstop Business, The NATSO Show


For two and a half days, the industry gathers to find knowledge, solutions and connections at NATSO Connect. Just like NATSO Connect, the NATSO Connect Magazine is your source for improving your travel plaza business operations. 

Highlights from Day One of NATSO Connect

NATSO has redesigned its annual tradeshow to deliver the connections truckstops need to adapt the way they do business in order to thrive amidst ongoing disruption and increased competition, and the excitement at NATSO Connect kicks off on Feb. 10 in Nashville, Tenn. 


NATSO will jump right in with the Kickoff Keynote address: Top Trends Disrupting the Truckstop Industry. The session, which runs from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., will be led by Lisa Mullings, CEO and president of NATSO, and feature three executives discussing highly relevant trends disrupting the industry.

Consider these wow-worthy trends:

  • In less than a decade, a new heavy-duty truck will consume 25 percent less diesel than today’s trucks due to due to federal regulations.

  • Twenty-eight percent of retailers anticipate implementing robotics, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (AI) within the next three to five years.

  • Retail stores could see a shift in their primary purpose, serving as showrooms and places for consumers to pick up packages ordered online.

These major changes in technology and consumer demand are shaking up the retail industry, and truckstop operators will walk away from this session with the analysis they need to navigate the future of both their trucking and four-wheel costumers as well as their own employees.


One of the most popular events of the annual show, the Great Ideas! for Independent Operators Workshop, immediately follows the keynote address. The Great Ideas! Session provides a forum for independent operators to learn what is working for their peers, hear presentations from industry experts and rejuvenate their creative juices! It is the ideal setting for operations to share great ideas that have helped their businesses and learn what is working for their peers.


The networking opportunities will flow right into the Welcome Party Reception at 5:45 p.m. This is the perfect time for operators to connect with those they know and forge new relationships with their fellow operators as well as industry suppliers and key thought leaders. (The Welcome Party Reception is sponsored by Valvoline.)

New members will be invited to dinner at 6:30 p.m. This private event is an opportunity for them to learn more about NATSO and the annual tradeshow while also strengthening their relationships with each other.

NATSO Connect will present truckstop and travel plaza operators with dozens of opportunities to learn from industry experts and make the connections to help them not just survive but thrive amidst ongoing disruption.

See the full schedule at

/// NATSO Connect 2018 will be held February 10 - 13 in Nashville, Tennessee. Register and learn more about NATSO Connect here

Photos credit: Brittany Palmer/NATSO

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About the Author

Amy Toner

Amy Toner

Toner markets NATSO products, services and meetings. She is the content editor of NATSO's core websites, Stop Watch magazine and Highway Business Matters biweekly articles. In addition, she provides creative services across all departments. Toner joined NATSO in 2006. Prior to joining the association, she served as director of membership services at an association for ambulatory surgery centers. Toner lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and son.

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