With Facebook polls and bombarding emails, the limousine industry is abuzz about the trade show showcase showdown.
I was recently tagged in a Facebook poll started by marketing executive Bill Faeth. The subject of the poll was whether people were attending the LCT Show East or the Chauffeur Driven Show, both being held in Atlantic City, N.J. As everyone is aware, they run one week apart from each other. That’s a lot to ask of us folks in a predominantly mom-and-pop industry. If only it could be as simple as the Greater California Livery Association made it at the GCLA Annual Expo & Trade Show recently. LCT Magazine and one of its competitors, Chauffeur Driven, peacefully shared display space on a six-foot banquet table, co-existing without any problem amid jokes about “property lines.”
The shows, however, has the industry full of anticipation. As a longtime contributing editor, of course I will be at the LCT East Show. I will be at the LCT booth every day of the show hoping to connect with our readers to learn more about what you want.
Back in the late 90s, my wife and I operated a 25,000 square-foot mega nightclub. We brought in acts like Neal McCoy, KC & The Sunshine Band, Tanya Tucker, Foghat, REO Speedwagon and others. When selecting a date, we always called the competing nightclub that brought in acts like Dwight Yokum and Merle Haggard. Although they were country and we were all over the place, we communicated with each other regularly and never booked events at the same time or within 30 days of each other. We knew people only had so much money to spend on entertainment in a month. Generally, this type of communication among competing businesses is good.
But that wasn’t possible this year in the limousine industry because of how the trade shows shaped up. Limousine Digest announced during its show in early November last year that it was leaving Atlantic City. LCT then saw an opportunity and announced its return to Atlantic City (after leaving in 1997 for Las Vegas). A few weeks later, Chauffeur Driven announced its new magazine and a trade show in Atlantic City.
Anyway, as a veteran attendee of so many limo shows and conferences, I have chosen to attend LCT Show East for many reasons. I’m going to take my LCT contributing editor hat off and consider it strictly from an operator’s point of view. The LCT Show East in Atlantic City takes LCT Magazine back to its roots. It is where the first limo show was ever held in 1984. There have been shows ever since and guess who was doing them and constantly breaking ground with original content, events, seminars and ideas? LCT and its co-producer the National Limousine Association. In that time, I have attended every show in Las Vegas for the past 20 years. I have attended LCT East three times. I have attended LCT Canada. I have watched the Vegas show morph into International LCT. People come from all over the world to that show. In other words, LCT has a proven track record.
And if you are still trying to figure out which show to attend at this late date, consider the fact that 85% of the registration revenues of LCT Show East are given to the NLA. That amount is now $77,000 and climbing. The NLA is working to obtain an exemption from Obamacare for our industry. No one else is giving us that kind of help. So consider investing in your future by attending LCT Show East. LCT and the NLA have got your back and are looking out for you.
— Jim Luff, LCT contributing editor
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