My Guide To A Meaty Trade Show

Posted on March 12, 2015 by - Also by this author

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There are countless reasons to come to an International LCT Show, about as many as there are individuals, and then some, since we all have multiple purposes in being there.

As LCT editor, I tend to look at things from a wow factor, or news standpoint: Where’s the meat? (And which suite party is serving the free roast beef, anyway?)

The politically correct thing for me to say would be that all activities, sessions and exhibits are equally newsworthy. It’s all meaty! All children now get ribbons, but no, real life doesn’t work that way at a trade show. If everything were news, I would have no reason to write this and all TV channels would be like C-SPAN or a parking deck cam.

So, if I were planning a newscast, an e-newsletter, or a slide on a home page, here’s how I would look at top stories at THIS YEAR’S Show. And if I were a TV news director-producer, I would avoid the tired slogans of “Action News,” “On Your Side,” “Eyewitness News,” and opt for the more multi-media-ish: “Get Some Meat!”

Sunday

NLA Board Meeting: The National Limousine Association is the closest thing to a government for the global chauffeured transportation industry, except it runs much more efficiently. The NLA board of directors always meets the day before the show to hold a quarterly face-to-face meeting, install new board directors, and elect officers. What makes these meetings spellbinding at times are the comments from top executives and industry leaders, who tend be the ones serving on the board. Their discussions and differences of opinion are always insightful and engaging, and guaranteed to be worth talking about it. Board members inevitably touch upon hot-button industry issues. NLA board meetings are open to all NLA members; you should probably notify the staff in advance if you would like to sit in the observation gallery. Trust me; spending a few hours here is better than sitting in your room watching C-SPAN.

Monday

NLA General Sessions: You’ll get the more packaged version of the above meeting, with the latest updates on regulatory and political matters affecting your business. As much as these tend to be scripted, there have been enough off-script moments to make these interesting. A proposed bylaw change on voting rules is the headliner this year and results from some recent controversy. The NLA general meetings are a wise use of your time to understand the wider industry world.

State Of The Industry: Always newsworthy, chock full of facts, stats and figures on the latest hard core business and economic trends. Don’t miss it.

Keynote Address No.1: Freakonomics economist Stephen Dubner is a bestselling author with insights beyond news headlines. If he can sell millions of books, he’s likely to have something worthwhile to say, and qualifies as newsworthy.

EXHIBIT HALL ALL THREE DAYS: If you can’t find anything newsworthy in 200,000 square feet of ground transportation related exhibits, then you are either dead from the neck up or horribly hungover. Look for new and unique vehicles and cutting edge technologies as sure bets for newsworthiness.

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