Having worked for both LCT Magazine and Limousine Digest, I am constantly asked what I think about three trade shows being put on this fall. I am now going to tell anyone who asks to go read my blog because I am tired of this debate.
First and foremost, I will be at LCT Show East only. Yes, this is where my loyalty lies, and yes, I am biased. I write regularly for LCT. I am married to a wonderful man who happens to be the executive director of the National Limousine Association, which puts the education program together. The NLA Show Committee outdid itself with this fall’s show. No, you don’t get to argue this with me. I am biased and proud of it.
The nice thing about a blog is I don’t get interrupted. Even if I wasn’t biased, I still would go to LCT Show East.
First, as a New Jersey native and current resident, I don’t like Atlantic City, and especially the Trump Taj Mahal. I find the hotel tired (even the part they have redone) and now that it is joined to a strip bar and hosts an annual porn show, I think I will just stay clear of it. (Yeah, that’s just the image this industry needs). The trade show floor is so crowded that you often can’t carry on a conversation without bumping into someone or something. Atlantic City doesn’t have as many choices as Las Vegas when it comes to hotels with exhibit floors. I do like the fact that everything is in one place, but now that even more of the few restaurants there have been replaced by a strip bar, it has lost its appeal to me.
Philadelphia is another story. I love Philadelphia and I am a Philly girl, but Center City Philadelphia is expensive and there are a lot of things outside of a show that will pull the people I want to meet with away. The city is a historic capital of the U.S. You couldn’t see everything in a week. Philadelphia is also a tough city. If you go there, don’t bring a car, or you may meet our not so friendly Philadelphia Parking Authority ticket writers. Take a few minutes and watch an episode of Parking Wars to see what I mean. The Philadelphia Convention Center is huge and there are many hotels around it, so many people will not stay at the host hotel. I still do not understand why Digest chose to move its tried and true formula out of Atlantic City. That’s why you now have LCT and the NLA inheriting the industry’s Atlantic City trade show slot. There was a business vacuum and we filled it.
If you are going to only one of the other shows, give me a call anyway. I live within an hour and maybe we could meet for dinner or a cheesesteak and soft pretzel. If you are doing three shows, you are blessed with time. I can barely get away from the office for one and I can’t imagine putting all that money out. You must have some deep pockets to do that.
Finally, here is what I say to all of you who are on the fence: The LCT shows in Vegas are always incredible. I come back from them energized and ready to take on the world. The speakers are world class. I always select the Dale Carnegie session, which will also take place at LCT Show East. I am revved about the Super Bowl presentation. I wish someone had put on this program when I worked the Super Bowl in Miami. The people giving this talk have lived and breathed many Super Bowls and they are sharing their knowledge.
For those who are concerned about the show floor being in the convention center and the classes in the hotel, I say don’t worry. I have walked between Caesars and the convention center and it is shorter than your walk at the MGM Grand from your hotel room to the convention hall. Plus there will be shuttles for those of you who can’t handle the short trek. Caesars is like a Vegas hotel. You will find me having gelato in the atrium area just like you have in Vegas. The Pier where the opening party is being held is stunning. You won’t believe the spectacular view. I was awed when I visited it.
I am looking forward to Caesars Atlantic City which has the outlets in front of it and the Pier shops behind it, including shops such as Tiffany’s.
Caesars also boasts plenty of restaurants. I recommend Angelo’s, one of my favorites. You don’t need to be held captive at the high-priced restaurants (most of which are always closed anyway). At this side of Atlantic City, you have more options for dining and shopping — and the only option for a limousine trade show.
— Linda Jagiela, LCT contributing writer
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