There is something undeniably refreshing about having a place where you can come together to reconnect with people in your industry, where you get to be the student again and simply learn. It's what defines the Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX).
For those attending (or thinking of attending), this year's GFX, the event promises to not only deliver on allowing attendees to have a time of learning but create a space where there is more than networking, you're connecting with old and new friends. This year, GFX is heading to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas in Dallas, Texas.
What to Expect
As one of the largest gatherings of government fleet professionals in the country, GFX offers a unique opportunity for industry leaders to come together and share their experiences, ideas, and best practices for managing fleets. With a comprehensive lineup of educational sessions, keynotes, and workshops, GFX attendees can expect to gain valuable insights into the latest trends and technologies that are shaping the future of fleet management.
But GFX isn't just about learning. It's also about building relationships and fostering a sense of community within the industry. From the opening reception to the farewell happy hour, GFX offers plenty of opportunities for attendees to connect with one another and build lasting friendships.
“Even after 51-plus years in the industry, the opportunity to learn something new, find something to enhance our operation, streamline our operation or be more efficient is a never-ending journey and the GFX experience provides so much under one roof that would have taken years to acquire. It is worth the time investment,” states David L. Dunn, CFM, division manager, Facilities Management Division, Office of Business & Financial Services, Orlando, Florida. He adds that “the relationships from all of them have become lifelong experiences that just keep giving and giving. The key for me is the interaction with like-minded people.”
For Kathy Wellik, CAFM, Sr. Client Success manager, Agile Fleet, a core memory from GFX was in Florida a couple of years ago when she was mentoring a first-time attendee.
“We found another first-time attendee from across the country, and we became inseparable,” she recalls. “We had such great discussions about being 'Women in Fleet' and I was able to introduce them to others. That is what it is all about.” For Ben Roueche, CPFP, fleet manager, West Jordan City, Utah, the Block Party has been a memory that stands out for him from past GFX events.
“It’s a great way to kick off the conference, warm up some networking, and get a little hands-on with new ideas. It’s the first chance to get re-acquainted with friends from the last conference.” Roueche adds that one of the best reasons he tells other to attend GFX is for the networking. He notes that every agency he has talked to will do things a little different…but at the end of the day, small fleets or large, the sum of knowledge that is available to network and learn from is, in his words, “incredible.”
“I love being in a room with a bunch of people that actually understand what I do, what I face, and how I succeed,” Roueche adds. “It’s exciting to learn from some, help others, or just swap great stories with each other, and I look forward to it each year.”
Continuing to Learn
Of course, the educational value of GFX cannot be overstated. With sessions covering everything from alternative fuels and electric vehicles to asset management and maintenance best practices, attendees can expect to leave the conference with a wealth of knowledge that can help them improve their fleet operations and achieve greater success in their careers.
This year, sessions are focused on the challenges and technologies that are impacting fleet within the public sector. A key takeaway from this year’s sessions will be how leaders in fleet can work through the changes that are happening in the industry and what tools are available to make facing these challenges. Fleet managers will learn how to leverage data to gain insights into their operations, identify areas for improvement, and optimize their fleet utilization.
Sessions will also highlight the significance of incorporating predictive maintenance practices into fleet management strategies to reduce vehicle downtime, exFtend vehicle lifespan, and enhance safety. Additional panels are geared toward providing insight on facilitating effective collaboration between a fleet team and procurement staff to achieve a better understanding of what both parties need.
Another session highlights the significance of data-driven approaches to fleet safety management. It includes presentations from two fleet managers who share their experiences and knowledge in the planning and execution of medium and heavy-duty fleet electrification. Attendees can also join sessions that delve into mentoring, training, and preparing fleet teams to step up and take over when the current fleet manager departs.
Overall, each session is an excellent opportunity for fleet professionals to gain valuable insights and knowledge from experienced experts in the field. And with keynote speakers like Gary Lykins, who spent a season in Antarctica as a fleet manager with nine mechanics, there's sure to be plenty of inspiration and thought-provoking insights to keep attendees engaged throughout the conference.
“What you learn at GFX is directly connected to the challenges a public fleet manager faces every day,” notes Dan Berlenbach, CPFP, Fleet Services manager for the city of Long Beach, California. He adds, “The amount of fleet wisdom gathered at GFX and the fleet experts’ willingness to share provides the actionable information you need to meet today’s challenges in fleet.
New This Year: Police Fleet Conference
More than half of Government Fleet’s readers manage law enforcement fleets in some capacity. Our team is delivering a new opportunity for law enforcement fleet managers to learn and network. Police Fleet Conference (PFC) is making its debut this year at GFX in Dallas.
Law enforcement fleet managers and suppliers with decades of industry experience will share insights and advice on some of the challenges unique to police fleet operations. Here are some of the topics you can expect to hear about, as they pertain to law enforcement fleets:
- Fleet electrification
- Vehicle lighting
- Procurement problems and solutions
- Vehicle upfitting
- Driver behavior
As part of the PFC experience, attendees have an opportunity to take part in the Ride & Drive, which will feature cutting-edge law enforcement vehicles for a handson demonstration. PFC runs concurrent to GFX, giving attendees a chance to network and catch up with other fleet industry professionals. PFC attendees also get all access to the same education, exhibits, meals, and networking opportunities available at GFX.