UMA Motorcoach EXPO Set For February 4-7 In Raleigh, NC

The United Motorcoach Association’s (UMA) 2024 Motorcoach EXPO is set for February 4-7, at the Raleigh (NC) Convention Center. The event annually brings together bus and motorcoach professionals for networking, educational sessions and to visit an exhibit hall featuring the latest in equipment, products, and services. Other events include an opening session, driver competition, maintenance interchange and competition, receptions, and dinners. The UMA Motorcoach EXPO will be celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Under the leadership of co-chairs Scott Riccio, of Northeast Charter & Tour, in Lewiston, ME, and Mitch Guralnick, of Prevost, the UMA EXPO Committee met throughout 2023 to find ways to top last year’s celebrated event in Orlando, FL.

“We saw a large increase in attendance in Orlando as the industry continues to recover, and we’re anticipating even more attendees in Raleigh,” Riccio said. “We have hundreds of members within an easy driving distance of this year’s event.”

Raleigh is located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, home to numerous universities and colleges with a rich tradition of athletic excellence. The EXPO will carry the theme “champions” this year and highlight the many champions working in the motorcoach industry.

Attendance for the 2024 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Raleigh continues to track well ahead of last year’s pace, with at least 184 expected attendees reporting this will be their first EXPO, according to UMA.

“We sold out of our (EXPO) exhibit booths early and had to add more in the back of the hall,” UMA President & CEO Scott Michael said.

The 2024 UMA Motorcoach EXPO’s daily schedule is as follows (dates, times, locations, and events are subject to change):

Sunday, February 4

Registration is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the main lobby. The UMA State Association Summit will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at room 402. It will be followed by the UMA Welcome Celebration, from 6 to 9 p.m., at Kings Entertainment. Transportation will be provided.

Monday, February 5

The day begins with registration from 7:30 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. at the main lobby. A UMA continental breakfast will be available from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at kiosks outside Ballroom BC. From 8 to 9:45 a.m., UMA will hold its annual Motorcoach EXPO Opening Session & Active Member Meeting. The event will take place at Ballroom BC.

The UMA Maintenance Interchange is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in room 402. Now in its 26th year, the event allows motorcoach owners, operators, and maintenance professionals to come together in an open forum to discuss maintenance problems they have faced, and to exchange solutions and ideas. Participants are encouraged to submit topics for discussion in advance. The Maintenance Interchange is an operator-to-operator exchange.

EXPO attendees will be able to delve into a wealth of knowledge on topics ranging from safety and fleet management to marketing and sales excellence during the many UMA Concurrent Education Sessions. The EXPO has even brought back the “Small Fleet Operators” sessions.

“We are planning a series of tracks to help industry attendees engage in various areas of motorcoach operation,” Ken Presley, UMA’s Vice President, Legislative & Regulatory Affairs & Industry Relations/COO, said. “Some courses will build on topics that were originally presented at our recent Safety Management Seminar, while others will allow for interactive small-group discussions.”

The first group of UMA Concurrent Education Sessions is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m. on Monday, in rooms 305 AB, 306 A, 306 B, and 306 C. Also taking place during this time (10 to 11 a.m.) is the UMA Associate/Travel Partner Membership Meeting at the UMA booth No. 615.

The second group of UMA Concurrent Education Sessions is set for 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in rooms 305 AB, 306 A, 306 B, and 306 C.

The UMA Luncheon with Keynote and Legislative & Regulatory Update is scheduled from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at Ballroom BC, followed by the third group of UMA Concurrent Education Sessions, from 2:15 to 3:10 p.m., in rooms 305 AB, 306 A, 306 B, and 306 C. This will be followed by the fourth group of UMA Concurrent Education Sessions, from 3:15 to 4:10 p.m., in rooms 305 AB, 306 A, 306 B, and 306 C.

A key event on Monday will be the UMA EXPO Exhibit Hall Sneak Preview, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Hall AB. Exhibitors will provide demonstrations and showcase various industry products and services during the Sneak Preview. A ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled at 4:15 p.m., near the front entrance of the Exhibit Hall.

The Sneak Preview After-Party and Dinner, meanwhile, is set for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., also at Hall AB.

Tuesday, February 6

Tuesday’s UMA EXPO registration is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the main lobby. A UMA continental breakfast will be available from 8 to 8:30 a.m. at kiosks outside of rooms 305/306. The UMA International Driver Competition will take place Tuesday morning at a time and place to be determined. Winners will receive cash prizes, trophies, framed certificates, and official recognition.

There are various UMA Concurrent Education Sessions scheduled for Tuesday during the following time slots: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., 9:45 to 10:45 a.m., and 11 a.m. to noon. These sessions will be in rooms 305 AB, 306 A, 306 B, and 306 C.

The National Association of Motorcoach Operators (NAMO) 2024 Semi-Annual Members Meeting is scheduled from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. in room 402.

Meanwhile, the UMA EXPO Exhibit Hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, allowing attendees a full day to visit with vendors. Lunch will be available at the Exhibit Hall from noon to 2 p.m. Also starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday is the UMA Maintenance Competition, at booth 925.

The UMA Awards Gala will take place Tuesday evening in Ballroom BC. The reception starts at 6:30 p.m., with the dinner scheduled for 7 p.m. It is at this event that participants will raise a toast to the strength and resilience of the motorcoach industry. This event was recently renamed the “UMA Awards Gala,” harkening back to earlier years when everyone pulled out their finest attire in honor of the industry’s finest.

“While we’re not suggesting tuxedos and formal dresses, we do encourage attendees (at the Gala) to ‘take things up a notch’ to show how much we appreciate our drivers, maintenance technicians, and fellow operators being honored,” Michael said. “These people represent the best in our industry.”

Wednesday, February 7

Wednesday is the final day that the Exhibit Hall will be open for the 2024 UMA Motorcoach EXPO. Show floor hours are 9 a.m. to noon. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the main lobby. Brunch will be available at the Exhibit Hall. UMA will recognize its new members during a special event at 9:30 a.m. at the UMA booth. Visit www.motorcoachexpo.com for updated information.

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