Photo by Gene Tewksbury

Photo by Gene Tewksbury

In early June, more than 700 fleet professionals convened at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver for the Government Fleet Expo & Conference (GFX). The event, which took place June 8-11, is the 8th annual conference exclusively for public sector fleet managers.

Attendees were able to choose from 14 breakout sessions during the event, led by industry leaders and with topics ranging from spec’ing vehicles to data management to redesigning the fleet.

In addition, two keynote presentations, one on decision-making and the other about procurement, and a general roundtable session about solutions for common fleet problems, gave attendees additional opportunities to learn.

The sold-out show floor featured 93 exhibitors and allowed fleet managers to connect with suppliers in one location.­ Numerous networking opportunities allowed attendees to connect and learn from each other.

“My first time at the GFX gave me great insight to the big picture of the business and also that we all have the same issues regardless of the size of our fleets,” said Kent Taylor, equipment superintendent and fleet services manager for El Dorado County, Calif. “A fleet of 300 units or 7,000 units, the management challenges are the same and this conference can be an eye-opener for any manager with any level of experience.”

One of the recurring topics fleet managers brought up at the conference was staff recruitment and training, with many saying they were having problems recruiting experienced technicians to fill positions. Succession planning was another big topic of discussion.

The Honors Celebration took place June 10, with many industry award winners recognized. These awards and honors include the Fleet Masters operation and Certified Fleet Management Operation certifications, Leading Fleets, Public Fleet Hall of Fame and Legendary Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Public Sector Fleet Manager of the Year.

Attendees arriving early could attend pre-conference sessions. The Denver International Airport hosted a tour of the airport and fleet facility, and afterward, the Municipal Equipment Maintenance Association (MEMA) hosted a general session detailing innovative ideas from fleet managers and that also included a panel with heavy-­duty and off-road equipment manufacturers.

The next GFX will take place June 20-23, 2016, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. Click here for more information.

For photos of the event online, view the photo gallery.

To download a PDF of the print edition of this feature, click here