Exhausted and Educated @ ILCT Show

Posted on February 23, 2011 by - Also by this author

Last week I met new people, partied with industry friends, and learned many new things. It was worth the shortage of sleep.
LAS VEGAS — The last day of the 2011 International LCT Show left me exhausted from the many activities, but knowing my life had been enriched.
This show seemed to really pack a punch. There were many new faces and the overall mood was so upbeat and energetic compared with the last two years of a miserable economic outlook. The future looks so bright, I must wear shades!
There were so many opportunities for learning and networking that it was sometimes hard to decide where to go. From the beginning of the show on Sunday, I was torn between attending the NLA Charity Wine Tasting event or a private party for network affiliates of MTC Limousine & Corporate Coach of Bedford Hills, N.Y. I opted for the affiliate party. This hosted bar party had plenty of food, drink, entertainment and mingling. I hung out with industry luminaries such as Ron Stein, Edwin & Kyara Kahakauwila, Jason Sharenow, Arthur Messina and Jeanne Caputo, the host of the party. Getting up for class the next day after that party took everything I could muster. The folks at MTC know how to throw a party.
I was excited to attend my first assignment Monday morning. I was asked to attend the International Operators welcome reception. It is these fine folks that travel all the way from such places as Canada, France, Puerto Rico, England and Ireland that make the show a truly International Show. I enjoyed meeting many new people.
The NLA gave my friend and industry mentor, Dean Schuler, props at the annual business meeting as well as recognition of London Towncars founder Stephen Spencer. Spencer was the first official operator licensed in New York City in 1959. The State of the Industry session and keynote speaker Dick Vermeil offered interesting insights for managing a business in today’s business climate. 
Of course there was more socializing and networking with my peers at the opening party, aptly named, “Work Hard — Play Harder.” There was no shortage of “play” going on at this shindig. The party included ping pong, golf putting, and of course, dancing and karaoke. I danced the night away.
Tuesday was with filled with workshops. I attended an insurance seminar as well as a technology seminar, both subjects I really need to learn more about. The last I knew a cloud was something in the sky. Now, I know about cloud computing. Who knew?
The night was capped off with the Operator of the Year Awards program. Our publisher Sara Eastwood-McLean and CEO Ty Bobit were obviously thrilled to bestow the awards on some very deserving winners. I won’t cover that here as there is already a link an LCT E-news article posted on our web site about them. The awards dinner had double the attendance of last year’s program.
On Wednesday, I attended the Speed Meet Affiliate Networking session and a session on managing buses before making the long five-hour drive home. I can’t wait to return next year’s LCT Show, scheduled for Feb. 13-15, 2012 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino!

— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor

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