With the industry’s best-ever show having just taken place in Las Vegas, we’ve been asked recently whey the LIMOUSINE & CHAUFFEUR Show is going back to Atlantic City and why has it been moved to the fall? Therefore, I will bring you into the fold on the history of the show. It will help you understand why we do what we do.
In 1983, Ty Bobit, who at the time was publisher of L&C Magazine, began orchestrating the blueprints for the first-ever limousine convention. Since the tri-state area and Pennsylvania were the major hubs for limousine services (and still are today), he decided the L&C Show should debut somewhere on the East Coast. After combing that region for the best venue to host the inaugural event, he determined Atlantic City was the best location.
Most cities were either too expensive (Manhattan and D.C.) or did not have adequate convention facilities. That first show in November, 1984 took everyone by surprise as over 1,100 operators attended.
A year later we targeted the second largest market – the West Coast. Since Las Vegas offered inexpensive accommodations and great convention facilities, we christened that city as the official site for the West Coast show. The turnout was again sensational. From that point forward, two L&C Shows were held annually: one in Atlantic City and the other in Las Vegas.
In 1988, many coachbuilders believed that participating in two shows was burdensome. They met with Ty Bobit in Atlantic City asking that we combine the two shows into one annual event, alternating between the East and West Coast locations. We complied.
Almost since the outset, Cadillac and Lincoln have been official sponsors of the L&C Show. Then in 1991, the NLA joined forces with the show. This union cemented a strong partnership that has been beneficial for everyone.
In 1993, Lincoln and Cadillac asked us to support their certified limousine builders. We believed both the QVM and CMC programs were important steps in manufacturing and safety. Thus, 1993 marked the end of non-certified limousines on the show floor and they were subsequently eliminated from the pages of L&C Magazine.
One year we were asked to try a destination off the beaten track, so we held the show in New Orleans. The turnout was dismal. We learned the hard way that it’s best to have the show in an area logistically desirable for a many attendees as possible. The cost of expensive flights and hotels prohibits the average small business owner from attending conventions – even in a destination as exciting as New Orleans.
The densely populated eastern region has continued to dominate the limousine market. Nearly 40 percent of the total L&C readership is based in this region. While we are committed to serving the international universe of operators, we know the success of the L&C Show lies in its accessibility to the majority of the industry. Therefore, the L&C Show plan has been to rotate annually between the eastern and western regions of the country.
Despite past successes in Atlantic City, it has become too risky to hold the show in the winter months. At its board meeting this past fall, the NLA agreed the East Coast show could be jeopardized by inclement weather, so it was jointly decided to move the Atlantic City dates from February to November. This decision was made in the best interest of the show participants, exhibitors, NLA members, and L&C.
There are several reasons why it’s worth the hard work to product the L&C Show. First, the show brings buyers and sellers together, allows for networking, and, most importantly, provides attendees with accurate news, information, and successful business practices, as well as the latest in technology, products, and services.
Second, proceeds from the L&C Show are used to help conduct research, fight causes affecting our industry, and support significant organizations such as the NLA and Limousine Industry Manufacturers’ Organization (LIMO). The L&C Show also stimulates sales so suppliers can increase their business.
Finally, the show provides a platform to personally recognize the leaders in the industry who motivate us all to strive for excellence.
Our number one goal will always be to help limousine operators survive and thrive. We reach you with fresh ideas, pertinent information, and new innovations through the pages of L&C, and once a year we bring this all to life at the LIMOUSINE & CHAUFFEUR Show. We’re proud to have played an integral role in the evolution of the industry over the past 13 years.
We genuinely appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in Atlantic City this November 11-13. To those of you who are wondering how we will top this past blockbuster of a show: Easy. Come see!