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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — I’ve never understood why some people in the limousine industry privately bash Atlantic City. I hear the reasons, I know the stereotypes, but once you are here, the swaths of wide beaches, busy boardwalk, gentle surf, casino high rises, shops and Atlantic waterways make me realize there is no other place like it. AC has its own distinct character. Even the tacky parts I saw while walking the oceanfront only make the place feel more genuine. It reminds me of youthful summers in the boardwalk-centric Virginia Beach, not so far down the Atlantic coast and close to where I grew up. I’m not ashamed to say, I like to “Do AC.”
Whatever your views of Atlantic City, this world-renowned New Jersey haven on the ocean will be forever linked to the limousine industry. This of course is where the first LCT Show was held in 1984, where competitor trade shows got started, where the National Limousine Association organized itself, and where LCT returned with its East Show in October — already scheduled again for Oct. 19-21, 2014.
Our Show had the added drama this year of being one week ahead of another newcomer trade show, just a few blocks down the Boardwalk, which filled the shoes of a longtime AC limo trade show that departed. I won’t go into all the reasons why this has come about or the backstory — anyone who’s been in the industry the last two years knows the tale twice over. I did meet some attendees going to both shows, and I kept up with all the buzz on social media. So instead of trying to compare and contrast and explain and promote and argue about magazines and trade shows, I would like to close out 2013 by looking at four things we as members of an industry have in common. These challenges all derive from the fact that we all work for, run, or own — private businesses.
Live or die by customers: If your product or service doesn’t attract enough clients, you won’t be doing what you do for very long. At LCT, we have a saying that we’re only as good as our last issue or our last e-newsletter. All of us in the limousine industry are constantly trying to get more clients, more subscribers, more attention, more marketing, etc. We need all of that like oxygen. Our livelihoods depend on that vital flow.