How the 2025 UMA EXPO will build on the success of this year’s EXPO

If there was an award for the longest trek to the 2024 UMA EXPO, it would definitely go to Mika Turunen and Mikael Suovirta, with LogiApps Finland, who came bearing delicious chocolates from their native country.

Was the 20-hour one-way trip worth it?

“It definitely was,” said Turunen, who is introducing the company’s tech product to the U.S. market.

LogiApps Finland
Mika Turunen and Mikael Suovirta, with LogiApps Finland, at the 2024 UMA EXPO. (Shandra Martinez)

“It was the first good first place to get introduced to people who might potentially be clients,” Turunen said. “People have been really curious. They really want to see what’s new out there. When I talk to them, I sense that they want to learn something. They want to meet new vendors to see if you might be able to solve a problem. 

“People have been really, really open towards us. Even though we speak with a little funny accent.”

The experience was worthwhile, Turunen said.

“We’ve learned quite a lot about the market and about all these kinds of things we need to take into consideration if we actually want to go into this market. So this was a good test run.”

Between their two flights,  from Jyväskylä, Finland to Reykjavík, Iceland, and then to Raleigh, North Carolina, site of EXPO, the total travel time for Turunen and Suovirta was 20 hours. They were rewarded with a good dose of sunshine, which is short supply in Finland during the winter. 

Chance to get to know potential customers

Mark Holmes, owner of Panther Pro, says the conference was worth making the trip from the United Kingdom.

“What I really appreciated about the conference was it wasn’t too big, so we could spend time talking to prospective customers, finding out what their issues are and how we can help resolve those issues,” said Holmes. He demonstrated the company’s Golia Bus & Coach Fitting System, a tool for windshield installation and removal for coaches, with Mark Norris who runs the company’s U.S. operations.

Panther Pro
Mark Holmes, owner of Panther Pro, with the company’s U.S. distributor, Mark Norris. (Shandra Martinez)

“Sometimes when you get to big, big conferences, it’s just too busy and we can’t spend time, so this is just a really good size. It’s been an amazing three days, and we are already booked for 2025. Go Oklahoma.”

The event hosted 95 exhibitors, featuring 11 new exhibitors, said Linda Andrew-Ness, PEMCO founder and CEO. The Las Vegas-based company has been contracted by the United Motorcoach Association to coordinate the EXPO exhibit hall experience. 

Andrew-Ness says the PEMCO team has heard a lot of praise about the EXPO, from “the attendee traffic was definitely there” to “pleased with the number of operators attending.”

As a result, many vendors have already committed to attending the 2025 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in Oklahoma City, according to Chuck Orris, PEMCO’s senior vice president for exposition services.

He noted that more than 65% of the exhibit space has been reserved. All the anchor OEM exhibitors have reserved space for 2025.

‘Feels like home’

Rodlly Figari, owner of Connexxions Bus in Orlando, says he was looking for insurance quotes at EXPO because he wanted to consider his options with his renewals coming up. He attended educational sessions with advice on how to keep insurance rates as low as possible. 

Rodlly Figari
Rodlly Figari, owner of Orlando-based Connexxions Bus, at the 2024 UMA EXPO. (Shandra Martinez)

“The EXPO is both educational and entertaining,” said Figari, a first-time UMA Member. He added that the EXPO’s keynote speaker, ESPN personality Marty Smith, resonated with him. Smith, whose speech was sponsored by Prevost, is the author of “Sideline CEO: Leadership Principles from Championship Coaches.” He spoke about the lessons he has learned about leadership from interviewing numerous coaches. 

“I love the UMA EXPO show,” Figari said. “It feels like home for me.”

Looking ahead

Orris said the UMA Board of Directors and staff are looking at ways to improve engagement opportunities during EXPO, investigating commercial product theaters, and relaunching successful activities from the past such as the Cigars and Cordials event and the annual golf tournament.  

UMA Board Member Scott Riccio, who heads the EXPO Committee, says preliminary results from the survey of attendees and exhibitors show great satisfaction with this year’s EXPO. 

The exhibit hall during the 2024 UMA EXPO in Raleigh, NC.

They especially liked the opening event at Kings Entertainment, which brought everyone together for an evening of fun and camaraderie. The education sessions were highly rated, with several commenters noting they had difficulty choosing between multiple interesting sessions.

“I was pleased to hear the committee’s perspectives on the EXPO in Raleigh,” said Riccio. “It is important to hear that we remain on the right track when creating the industry’s best-attended event each year, and we’re looking forward to making the EXPO experience even better next year in Oklahoma City.”

He said the EXPO Committee already is looking at enhancements for next year’s EXPO.

“Oklahoma City is known for many things, including its place on historic Route 66,” Riccio said. “We will be looking at ways to represent the native culture along with the Wild West, but there are also some modern touches, like the Brickyard neighborhood, that attendees will enjoy.”

To learn more about the 2025 UMA EXPO, contact the PEMCO Sales Team at, or


A recap of 2024 UMA Motorcoach EXPO in photos and videos

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