Inaugural Busworld North America Finds Success In Detroit
In partnership with the American Bus Association (ABA) and its Marketplace 2023, the inaugural Busworld North America took place in Detroit, MI, in February, with a variety of events. According to ABA and Busworld officials, total attendance was 2,618, including 876 Marketplace and Busworld Operators, 360 Marketplace Buyers, and 1,097 Marketplace Sellers. There were also 414 Busworld Buyer Attendees and 423 Busworld Exhibitor and Product Attendees.
“We also were successful in not only raising $112,000 for the ABA Foundation’s Scholarship program, but $17,000 for the ABA Gives Back Charity, The Konnection, in Detroit,” according to ABA.
Busworld North America is designed for transportation professionals involved with motorcoaches, shuttle buses, transit buses and school buses. The event included industry experts, market analysts and futurists who discussed the latest in trends, opportunities and challenges facing bus/motorcoach professionals. Various networking events and a three-day tradeshow, involving a variety of industry bus/coach manufacturers and suppliers, also took place.
Prior to the opening of the tradeshow doors, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held involving ABA President & CEO Peter Pantuso and Busworld International CEO Vincent Dewaele. Both men gave remarks prior to the official cutting of the ribbon.
“For years, we (various ABA representatives) have attended Busworld in Belgium. That included participating as panelists during educational programs,” Pantuso said. “We witnessed what an incredible event officials of Busworld put together every time we visited.
“As the organization grew and expanded over the decades, so did the number of countries hosting a Busworld event. There are now Busworld shows in multiple countries around the world. For quite some time, Busworld also wanted a footprint in North America.”
Eventually, ABA and Busworld officials developed a partnership to bring Busworld to North America. Initially, the inaugural event was to be held in Baltimore, MD, in 2021. Due to the COVID pandemic, however, the first event took place two years later in Detroit.
“After a two-year wait, we are happy to be here for the first-ever event,” Pantuso said. “I feel visitors will be impressed. That includes key educational sessions and a great display of suppliers on the tradeshow floor. We want to thank our exhibitors, our sponsors and everybody who has taken the time to be a part of this event.”
Held every two years, Pantuso noted the next Busworld North America will take place in Philadelphia, PA, in 2025.
Following Pantuso’s words, Dewaele added: “We are very happy to be here, in Detroit. Busworld has exhibitions in almost every continent, with its largest, Busworld Europe, taking place in Brussels, Belgium (October 7-12, 2023). Everyone is welcome. It will include a lot of buses on display and other suppliers.
“Busworld shares information about buses, technology and digitalization, and new energy forms — such as hydrogen and electrification. We are also focused on building a bridge between the industry and the passengers who use our industry’s services. Passengers are important because they are you and they are me. It’s not only important to push our industry for improvement, but also to help with other issues, such as the climate. The main objective is to help make the world a better place.”
Dewaele thanked Pantuso, and the entire ABA team, for helping make Busworld North America a reality.
“This is only the start. We will have many future exhibitions, with the objective of making each one better than the previous,” Dewaele said.