Charity event offers networking and marketing opportunities.
Deviating from my usual limousine industry business drivel, I'm going to share information about my personal life and how I have connected my charity work and limousine business together. Serving as the president of a few organizations, I get great pleasure from being the president of CARE. CARE is short for Children's Advocates Resource Endowment. Each year, for the past 14 years, we have held a festival as our only fundraiser of the year. Bakersfield Village Fest (http://www.bakersfieldvillagefest.com/) has grown to a massive undertaking. In a single night, our proceeds top $300,000 and our net amount of money ranges from $150,000 to $180,000 each year.
The event was held this past Saturday night. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., in a short four- hour period, 6,000 people strolled over 16 acres of decorated, historic, buildings at an outdoor museum. More than 97,000 beverage samples were served from 100 different types of beer and 70 types of wine. 68,000 food samples were served from 30 local restaurants. We used 19,000 pounds of ice with drinks and food served up by some 650 volunteers. We recycled five tons of trash. I'm not even going to guess what the porta-potties collected but we had tons of them. We had five stages with 17 bands playing. We had a sports pavilion and our own medical center.
By now, you are probably wondering what this has to do with the limo business. Well, the commitment to make such an event work puts me in touch with many people. There is a committee of 30 people and of course my 12 fellow board members. These are business owners from all walks of life that become a source of business. Oh, the event itself generates a guaranteed sell-out night to every limo company in the city. You don't want to have to park here and then leave with police road closures and traffic directing everywhere when you might have sampled 15 beers. The entire front of the museum is closed down to limos, buses and taxis only. Then there is the opportunity to put my banners up on the chain link fence of the main entrance so all 6,000 guests see it. I forgot to mention the promotional appearances on TV and radio that allow me to mention our company name 14 times as a sponsor of the event and encourage people for safety reasons and convenience to “book your limo today before they are all gone.”
So, now the event is over. We raised the money. Throughout the year, we will give it away in the form of grants to organizations that serve children. Over the years we built a computer homework lab at the Boys and Girls Club for about $10,000 that serves more than 300 kids a week. We provided funding for a soccer league serving 600 kids a week who are underprivileged and would never be able to buy a uniform or sports insurance. We bought 15 high chairs for the local homeless shelter. We bought school supplies and clothes for foster children and their families. We make miracles happen for scouting programs, Make-A-Wish and the Society for Disabled Children. All of these organizations must work through my office at Limousine Scene to submit grants and obtain grants. Their grant usage is monitored through my office. My assistant, Treanna Maddox, is also a member of the board of directors, and we manage business affairs of CARE giving us even more exposure to many organizations in the community. This allows us many opportunities to donate limousine services to their various fundraising efforts making our name even more popular in town. I sure hope my competitors in town are not reading this.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
Don't let your guests down. Here are some things to think about before the event starts.
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