LEAVING LAS VEGAS -- Despite the bad economy, the attendance didn't seem to be affected at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas this week. In fact, the attendee flow looked a bit better than last year. I spoke at the First Timer's Orientation session on Monday and was very impressed by the full house turn out. I believe this is a sign that more people than ever want to learn how to propel their businesses to the next level, whatever that may be for them.
I have met one car operators and people that are running much larger fleets, all here for the very first time. I think it speaks volumes for the educational seminar content offered by the NLA. With regards to the educational content, I should have brought tennis shoes. The show was fast paced with many different options but sometimes meeting locations were so spread out that I needed my running shoes just to stay on schedule.
Our publisher, Sara Eastwood-McLean, made a comment while speaking that the show had become like a family reunion each year with not a lot of new faces until this year. It is indeed like a family reunion except that instead of "real" family, it is families of affiliates. Music Express was here and held a special meeting with affiliate members, along with Boston Coach which schmoozed with all of its affiliates. It was equally nice to thank people who have done work for me in the past year around the nation and thank those who have sent me business as well.
Speaking of schmoozing, the Greater California Limousine Association hosted its own private suite party just for members. After attending that wild and crazy party, I was nearly done for the night. But I had to force myself to continue the night of partying and socialization. Okay, you didn't have to twist my arm too badly to go play human bowling and watch my peers sing karaoke and dance like crazy. While this was a night to celebrate, the friendships born from these team building events will last a lifetime. It is almost like going to a speed version of summer camp.
Oh, and speaking of speed. The speed networking, which is similar to a speed dating format provided an opportunity to meet many, many network executives and presented new opportunities to receive new business and be more prepared to serve my own clients in other cities. When you have an opportunity to socialize with someone, I think there is a level of trust developed as well. So when I send an order to new found friends such as Yoseph Deres in Bellaire, Texas or Deborah Talbot in New London, Ohio, I know they will take good care of my clients since we are new friends and they know I will take care of their clients as well.
Then there was the Joe Thiesmann speech Monday that was incredibly motivating. The speech clearly helped me realize how important it is to stay focused on the task at hand. The awards gala was just as glamorous as the Academy Awards if not better because some of the people winning awards are actually my friends and people I enjoyed celebrating their accomplishments with over a fantastic dinner.
I could go on and on about the good times, the educational experiences, the new friendships, the time spent with old friends, and all the benefits of being here, but I am off to running my business with new facts, wisdom, and industry connections.
If you went to the show, I know you had a great time. If you missed it, I look forward to seeing you at the next.
— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor
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