Tire Business photo by Chuck SlaybaughLOUISVILLE, Ky.-The road to a joint trade show between the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and the International Tire and Rubber Association may lead, ultimately, to the combining of the two associations. At least that's the opinion of James Faught, past president of the NTDRA, who commented on the issue at a Tire Industry Forum, April 17, during the ITRA's World Tire Conference & Exhibition in Louisville.
Mr. Faught said he personally sees the two groups developing a common trade show that would benefit both suppliers and exhibitors and eventually could evolve into an industry week concept.
``And very candidly, I really see no need, down the road, for two associations,'' he said.
NTDRA and ITRA officials have met three times, to date, to discuss joining their shows, and the meetings ``have been very productive,'' Mr. Faught said.
``But it's not something you can just rubber stamp,'' he added. ``There's a lot of financial considerations.''
To illustrate the difficulty in joining the shows, Mr. Faught noted that even if the groups wanted to schedule a common trade show for March, April or May 1997 in Las Vegas, the city's convention facilities are already booked.
In working with the ITRA, Mr. Faught said he's striving to keep the NTDRA's priorities straight, focusing first on the needs of the association's members-independent tire dealers and retreaders-followed quickly by those of suppliers and exhibitors.
Is a joint show doable? ``Yes,'' he said. ``Is it simple? It is not.''
William Babek, president of the ITRA, also spoke at the industry forum about the possibility of a joint trade show.
He described the spirit of cooperation between the NTDRA and ITRA as ``outstanding,'' and likened the situation to a marriage. ``You have to date before being married,'' he said. ``We're in the dating stage.''
He also reminded forum attendees of the magnitude of what the groups are trying to accomplish.
The NTDRA has been a functioning organization more than 75 years; the ITRA for 40 years, he explained. ``It goes far beyond just joining two trade shows. It goes to the core of why these associations exist.''
The changes under discussion are not going to happen in one, two or three years, Mr. Babek said. They will occur over time.
In fact, they might not happen at all, he added. ``. . . (B)ut it is our duty and our responsibility to explore all of these options.''