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Welcome to Memphis and Police Fleet Expo 2017!

By Jennifer Gavigan


The 14th annual Police Fleet Expo, August 21-24, 2017, brings the nation’s police fleet experts to one of Tennessee’s iconic cities. If this is your first visit to Memphis, the largest city on the Mississippi River, you may be surprised at what this vibrant, diverse southern city offers. Arrive early and settle in; registration opens on Sunday, Aug. 20, at 4:00 pm.

This year’s show will be one of the largest to date with registered attendees from all over the country. Memphis was a natural choice; the city is affordable, accessible, and dynamic. Located in downtown Memphis, the Memphis Cook Convention Center (MCCC) is impressive. It boasts a column-free Main Exhibit Hall with more than 125,000 square feet, 31 meeting rooms, and an impressive 2,100-seat Cannon Center for the Performing Arts (additional 28,000 sq. foot Ballroom). Plus, the Memphis Cook Convention Center offers a 300,000-square-foot special exhibit hall, parking for 750 cars, and a connected 600-room Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel.

The Sheraton Memphis Downtown is our host hotel and its staff will work to make your visit relaxing and enjoyable. The hotel rate for PFE attendees and exhibitors is $149/night. The Sheraton requires a one nights’ stay as a reservation deposit. Mention Police Fleet Expo or PFE at time of booking. Memphis International Airport (MEM) is just 12 miles from the Sheraton Memphis Downtown. The airport is served by several carriers; visit their website at for more information.

For 2017, Police Fleet Expo offers sessions for both new and experienced attendees. As with previous Expos, every level of fleet involvement will benefit, including chiefs, supervisors, officers, mechanics, upfitters, purchasing agents, and planners. Because PFE is focused on the police vehicle industry, and exists to serve the end-user agency, attendees have unparalleled access to industry representatives who want feedback. No other show brings you closer to the police vehicle development and sales teams. For example, our unique manufacturer sessions get you up to speed on the latest models and provide answers to service-related questions. 

PFE lets you do more than just sit in a classroom, however. We kick things off with Monday’s opening event, the Ride & Drive. Our host facility is the Memphis International Raceway (MIR). Attendees will have the unique opportunity to drive all major police and special service vehicles from Chevy, FCA, and Ford. Get a feel for each vehicle, explore their performance, and take a seat-of-the-pants measure of which fits your agency’s needs. A complimentary Memphis-style barbecue lunch will be provided. Lastly, do take time to enjoy the static displays from numerous companies along with their sales representatives.

After the Ride & Drive, share ideas and exchange solutions at the Agency Networking Dialogues. These informative sessions are based on agency size: Small, Medium, and Large/Federal Agencies so you can network with fleet managers who share similar concerns and solutions. Relax and unwind at the evening networking event sponsored by Whelen, Engineering Company.

Tuesday brings informational and educational sessions, starting with the Vehicle Manufacturer Dialogues, including a Motorcycles Presentation. The rubber meets the road here—small, medium, and large agencies will be able to share ideas and solutions, as well as learn what works for their peers. In addition, you won’t want to miss the evening networking event sponsored by Code 3, Inc. 

Regardless of your fleet size, you will find solutions in Memphis. From technology solutions to tires, lubricants to lightbars, brakes to batteries, Police Fleet Expo has it. Numerous vendors, including all major police vehicle manufacturers, will be on display in the Expo exhibit hall. Unlike other trade shows, PFE is not about salespeople writing orders but rather about informing agency decision-makers. If you are struggling to find the best console, cage, camera, or cruiser, PFE is the place to be, with the exhibit hall open Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning.

On Wednesday, you’ll also find many informative sessions, including Fleet Management 101; Going Green; Mobile Technology Update; Vehicle Graphics & Wraps; NIJ & MSP Brake Test Results; and much more! That evening’s event is sponsored by SoundOff Signal Corp. & Setina Manufacturing Inc. Check for more information about time and place.

Thursday’s sessions include Emergency Preparedness; The Big Picture; and the ever-popular Tire Forensics class, an in-depth look at tire longevity and safety. You’ll learn what it takes to keep the rubber on the road. Our final event is the Wrap-up and Adjournment Session. This important gathering is often overlooked by attendees and shouldn’t be missed. The ‘Wrap’ offers you face time with the show’s planning and management team, with the goal of mutual learning and improving the show for next year. It’s worth your time and attendee input is extremely valued for planning our next show.


Memphis Attractions

PFE is about networking, and there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. Each night offers a sponsored after-hours event with food and refreshments. Additionally, restaurants, shops, and entertainment spots surround our venue, offering literally something for everyone. If you want to explore the city, Memphis has a lot of culture. Famous for Elvis’ Graceland, of course, Memphis also is home to the National Civil Rights Museum, both of which offer walks through history.

The National Civil Rights Museum is located at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on the balcony on April 4, 1968. Filled with Civil Rights history, its comprehensive exhibits showcase 260 artifacts and interactive media to cover five centuries, from slavery in America and the Civil War to the 20th-Century Civil Rights movement and modern-day issues.

It’s hard to go to Memphis without stopping at Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. The full Graceland experience will take you from the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s humble beginnings through his rise to superstardom. See how the legend lived and relaxed with family and friends. The Graceland experience includes an interactive iPad tour of Graceland mansion, the Graceland Archives Experience, Elvis’ Automobile Museum, Elvis’ Hawaii: concerts, movies, and more.

Opening in March 2017, Elvis Presley’s Memphis is the largest expansion of Graceland since the Mansion began offering tours in 1984. The 200,000-square-foot, $45 million complex is located across the street from the Mansion and the property’s new four-star hotel, The Guest House at Graceland. This new collection of museums, exhibits, restaurants, and shops will allow visitors to “follow the path that Elvis took, surround themselves with the things that he loved, and experience the sights and sounds of the city that inspired him.”

More of Memphis’ storied past can be seen at Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, the Center for Southern Folklore and other museums. If music is more your thing, visit Sun Studio, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, or Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. Family-friendly favorites include the Memphis Zoo and the Peabody Ducks. If you want to take a break outdoors, Mud Island Riverwalk, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, and Shelby Farms Park are bustling with activity. Stop by Beale Street Landing and Tom Lee Park for views of the mighty Mississippi and the iconic bridge.

The historic Peabody Hotel has a beautiful lobby, a rooftop with a great view, and two daily duck marches that both young and old will love. There’s plenty to do off the Expo floor, so take some time to sightsee.

Eating in Memphis is an experience for the soul. Barbecue is the official cuisine of Memphis, home to more than 100 barbecue restaurants. Here are a few to try: Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous for ribs or the sausage and cheese plate; Central BBQ for a pulled pork sandwich or barbecue nachos; The Bar-B-Q Shop for ribs and a side of barbecue spaghetti;

Corky’s BBQ for ribs dry or wet and banana pudding for dessert; Payne’s BBQ for the BBQ bologna sandwich. 

Their specialty may be barbecue, but dining out in Memphis offers a variety of cuisine. There’s Southern-style soul food, fine dining, authentic Italian and Mexican cuisine, burger joints, award-winning chefs, breweries, bars, and local eateries serving everything from American classics to eclectic dishes.

It’s the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Home of the Blues, and the starting point of soul. Music legends including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, W.C. Handy, and Otis Redding made their marks on Memphis, where you can hear their influences today.

To complete the ‘musical medley,’ visit Sun Studio, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. At night, take a walk down Beale Street or stop by Overton Square and listen to the live music of today’s Memphis musicians.

Beale Street is a national historical landmark, and shows the impact Memphis has had on American blues, particularly after World War II as electric guitars took precedence. Sam Phillips’ Sun Studio, the most seminal recording studio in American popular music, still stands, and is open for tours. The Gibson guitar factory also offers tours of their facility.

There you have it…. Memphis has a lot of hospitality for attendees and exhibitors alike! Police Fleet Expo 2017 – Memphis, Tenn., is THE police fleet industry event.

Visit for show information and easy online registration. Whether this is your first or 14th show, we can’t wait to see you!

Jennifer Gavigan is the former Managing Editor of Police Fleet Manager. She can be reached at






Published in Police Fleet Manager, Jul/Aug 2017

Rating : Not Yet Rated

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