In the 1970s song “Magic” by the band America, there’s a lyric that goes: “You can do magic. You can have anything that you desire.” By the time attendees of the 2007 International LCT Show, held at the Venetian Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, left, they probably felt that very same sentiment. With the knowledge gained from attending the many educational programs provided, operators from around the world felt empowered and ready to go back to their offices.
The magic didn’t stop with the show’s title. With a well-received keynote speaker, popular networking receptions, memorable social events, and a show floor that dazzled the senses, attendees were treated to an all-out spectacle.
Here are some highlights from those three magical days:
An Enchanting Show Floor Experience
Immediately following the highly anticipated ribbon cutting ceremony, the large influx of show-goers were stunned with a show floor that dazzled the senses. The excitement began with the sight of the acrobatic Cirque du Soleil performers. The striking visual displays took place high above the show floor, on the ground, and even on stilts. Attendees stopped in their tracks to watch the graceful and entertaining movements of this amazing troop. Once the spell of the performers was broken, operators were greeted by an impressive array of vehicles, products, and services that could satisfy a limousine company owner’s every need. A quick look around revealed the new Lincoln Navigator L-series as well as the Cadillac DTS. Upon further observation, a wide variety of livery vehicles provided by QVM/CMC builders such as DaBryan, Royale, Tiffany, Krystal, Executive, and LCW. And also specialty and non-conventional vehicles from companies such as LimeLite, L.A. Custom Coach, Turtle Top, and many more. Operators who were looking for sedans were greeted by dealers such as Acton, Westwood, and more. The outer edges of the show floor were alive with some of the industry’s top suppliers of products and services. Insurance, software, credit card processing, vehicle financing/leasing, and affiliate networks were busy assisting eager operators looking for the right supplier for their companies. By the end of the show, many vendors mentioned they’d had the highest sales of any show ever. Some coach builders wrote more than 70 orders on the show floor, and had an extensive amount of leads to follow up on after the show.
An Enchanted Evening
Another highly anticipated event of this year’s show was the annual Industry Awards Gala. Along with the Cirque du Soliel performers, guests were treated to an excellent meal in an elegantly decorated setting. Everything about the evening built up to the tension-packed awards ceremony. Following dinner, the NLA Charity Auction was held. Professional auctioneer Mark Drilling of Stokes Auction Group took participants on a high-energy auction rollercoaster. The combined total of the NLA’s charity auctions brought in more than $45,000 for the Harold Berkman Memorial Fund.
The “magical” evening was topped off with the eagerly anticipated industry awards. The air was charged with excitement as the LCT editorial staff took the stage to announce the Marketing Awards.
• Best Business Card: A Bee Limousine, Cincinnati, Ohio.
• Best Direct Mail Piece: Rollz Royce Limousine Service, Palo Alto, Calif.
• Best Brochures/Information Packets: Rollz Royce Limousine Service, Palo Alto, Calif.
•Best Website: Exclusive Sedan Service, North Hollywood, Calif.
• Best Print Advertisements: Rollz Royce Limousine Service, Palo Alto, Calif.
• Best Promotional Items: Music Express, Burbank, Calif.
After winning three marketing awards, Ty Bobit asked Rollz Royce’s Maurice Brewster to take the stage and explain how his company was doing so much effective marketing. Brewster expressed his gratitude to his family (including his wife Rhonda, who joined him on the stage), his employees, and affiliates.
The next award was for the Association of the Year. With the excitement mounting, the winner was announced.… and the award goes to: The Greater Orlando Limousine Association (GOLA). GOLA has been doing some innovative image-building promotional work through the local media in Orlando. With the anticipation approaching overload, the Operator of the Year Awards were now at hand. Nominees were on the edge of their seats, waiting for their names to be called. And the winners are...
- Bayview Limousine Service, Seattle, Wash.; Rob Hansen, 51+ vehicle category.
- Overland Limousine Service, Shawnee Mission, Kans.; Diane Forgy, 31-50 vehicle category.
- Park Place Limousine and Transportation, Rochester, N.Y.; Scott Pizzo, 11-30 vehicle category.
- Exclusive Sedan Service, North Hollywood, Calif.; Ron and Brandan Stein, 1-10 vehicle category.
As the guests exited the ceremony, there was excitement in the air. Although the awards were over, there was still more fun to be had: the parties were just moments away…
Nobody Moved Your Cheese
This keynote address received a standing ovation and had attendees at the edge of their seats. Ross Shafer educated and entertained his audience with his unique and inspirational presentation. “Success is your own fault,” said Shafer. “We shouldn’t look outside ourselves for quick answers or easy motivational formulas.” Shafer also spoke about accountability and that operators should be taking personal responsibility for their own success. “I was a small town pet store manager whose dream was to become a network talk show host like my idol, Johnny Carson,” he added. “In less than 6 years of focused effort, my dream came true when I was named host of the Fox Late Show.” This show competed head-to-head in the late night wars against Johnny Carson and David Letterman.
During this portion of the program, Shafer explored some key topics:
- Why the world needs focused experts like you.
- How to exploit your hidden talents.
- How to tap into the enthusiasm of your coworkers.
- How to get your customers to accelerate your career for you.
- How to self-motivate by example.
During his presentation, Shafer told the audience how he actually discovered Bill Nye the Science Guy during a taping of his own TV Show (and then showed footage from this first-ever TV appearance). “I had a guest that didn’t show up and I needed somebody quick,” said Shafer. “We had this science geek who could make something cool out of just about anything.” Shafer brought him onstage and the rest is history.