WHAT NEEDS TO BE SAID: With almost six years of industry trade shows under my belt, I’m no expert compared to many industry veterans. But I’ve been around the block long enough to spot a bigger picture when I see one.
The big picture that clearly emerges from LCT Show East, co-produced by the National Limousine Association, is that the chauffeured transportation industry’s momentum is behind LCT and the NLA. Quality investments in B2B content, industry leadership and product marketplaces in the last few years are paying off. I must conclude that no other organization is really qualified or credible enough to advance the fortunes of the industry and get it taken seriously on national and global stages.
LCT Show East last week captured exactly where the industry is at and what it needs at this point in time. I’ve never been to an industry event that so effectively balanced the tough issues facing operators, with the tools and resources to grow businesses, with the marketplace opportunities for better products and services. The Show wasn’t too short or too long, neither too slow nor too hectic. The 1,100 attendee count exceeded expectations, and we had 68 chauffeured vehicles on the show floor compared to an observed count of 46 vehicles at a competing trade show this week.
LCT Show East generated $75,000 for the NLA (money used to ward off destructive rules and regulations), $35,000 for NLA charities (decent businesspeople making the world more of a better place than federal bureaucrats can), and drove the NLA’s Political Action Fund to $85,000 (money used to buy time with politicians to educate them on industry concerns).
The National Limousine Association’s education program hit all the strong points of what is truly going on in this industry, including the incompetent (incontinent?) transition to Obamacare, the influence of mobile-app technologies, next generation industry views, social media strategies, crisis communications. . . all the issues and trends that have been at the forefront of the limousine industry this year.
I met attendees from around the country and even from across the Atlantic who came with a sense of professional purpose, looking to network and get about improving their businesses. Yes, we had some parties and some fun, and all of that was good until midnight and maybe a little after, but I sensed those were secondary attractions, the icing on a substantive trade show and conference cake.
As any one of us can see, the global economic and national political situations are deeply troubling. We live in a time that calls for, yes, getting serious. That’s not a popular concept in party towns, but there really is no other alternative. We’re not bringing back the groovin’ 1970s, the boomin’ 1980s, the swingin’ surplus 1990s, or the bubble-butt shakin’ 2000s anytime soon.
We need adults in the industry room who can move things forward and avoid stirring frivolous divisions and disputes. With a major victory this year on Department of Labor rules pertaining to chauffeur overtime and tips, the NLA and LCT are those proven adults with the maturity and wisdom to handle the challenges ahead.
While our competitors generate dramas worthy of tabloidy reality TV shows, LCT and the NLA stand tall as the professional organizations with the clout and credibility to advance the livelihoods for limousine operators and industry vendors worldwide. And we won't embarrass you.
Peace Out and see you at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas!
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
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