As evidenced by the turnout of attendees at the LCT Show Las Vegas on March 13-15, the limousine industry is still going, and growing, strong. The ornate Venetian Hotel provided the backdrop for the yearly event, which was held in conjunction with the NLA. More than 3,000 delegates packed the aisles.
With the beach theme, “Ride the Wave of Success,” the mood was fun and festive, and many exhibitors decorated their space accordingly, such as Ford Motor Co. Fake palm trees, a grass hut office, beach balls and matching Hawaiian shirts worn by Ford executives garnered the company a Best Use of Theme Award.
The show floor was abuzz with the newest vehicles, exciting product innovations and specialty services geared toward limousine operators. With more than 110,000 square feet of showroom space, exhibitors had plenty of room to showcase their latest offerings. Operators had the chance to see everything from the all-new 2006 Cadillac DTS and Ford’s new Lincoln Mark LT Truck, to the hottest limousine interiors from virtually every coachbuilder in the country. The exhibition also featured software, finance/leasing, insurance, management, marketing, equipment and communications companies.
The LCT Show was designated as the “official debut” of two new Cadillac vehicles: the 2006 DTS, a luxury sedan and the 2006 Escalade ESVe, a 40-inch stretch. This unveiling event, hosted by Cadillac General Manager Jim Taylor and Product Manager Al Gagne, won Cadillac the Best Product Demonstration Award.
For the second year in a row, Livery Coach Software sponsored the Internet Café, which enabled show attendees to log on for free to stay in touch (electronically) with their offices back home.
At the LCT booth, ancillary products such as the Chauffeur Training video program, the Business Basics CD-ROM and the Art Gallery CD-ROM were available for purchase. These items were designed to give operators the tools they need to help run a successful business. The booth also held a free raffle with the winner receiving a free gift basket filled with all of LCT’s ancillary products plus his-and-her shirts, sunglasses, visors and flip flops, and other goodies.
Show participants also tried their luck at the Mohegan Sun Wheel, which was loaded with nifty prizes. A free spin could win you everything from a complimentary year subscription to LCT Magazine to an all-inclusive paid trip to the luxurious Mohegan Sun Resort and Casino in Connecticut to attend LCT’s first-ever Eastern Conference on Sept. 12-13. Donnie Shellnut, president of Shellnuts Limousine Service in Royal Oak, Mich., and Joann Rote of All Occasion Limousine in Mars, Pa., were the lucky winners of the Mohegan Sun excursion.
Another exciting opportunity was Demo Day, which required operators to fill up a booklet with stickers given to them by various exhibitors after listening to presentations or watching a product demonstration. The filled books went into a drawing, and the two winners also walked away with the Mohegan Sun giveaway.
Since education is key when it comes to starting and maintaining a lucrative business, as always, the LCT Show provided attendees with a jam-packed curriculum sponsored by the NLA. Seminars ranged from Limo 101 to Corporate Proposals That Work.
As all work and no play makes for three exhausting days, two nighttime events made a big splash among participants. On Sunday evening, Krystal Enterprises sponsored the Beach Ball, a fun, let-your-hair-down party complete with a live band, dancing, karaoke, volleyball, beach games, contests and hosted bar.
On Monday evening, “A Night Under the Tahitian Moon” awards gala, sponsored by Ford Motor Co., honored the top operators and associations in the industry. The enchanted evening included a cocktail reception, a four-course dinner, a charity auction, awards presentation and an authentic Polynesian luau show.