Why Operators Don’t Attend the LCT Show – And Why They Should

Posted on January 1, 2004 by Sara Eastwood-McLean, LCT Publisher

This year we’re celebrating the 20th anniversary of the LCT Show. Ironically it has shaped up to be the biggest event we’ve ever had with more than 160,000 square feet of exhibit space sold out to date! We’re pretty excited the LCT Show is still growing after all these years, especially when most mature conventions are downsizing.

We do our best to keep the show fresh by moving the venue each year, creating show themes, adding new excitement like our grand 20th anniversary celebration at the most popular Las Vegas hot sport, Rumjungle, and updating our educational curriculum.

In addition, the National Limousine Association has rolled out a new seminar format. Rather than two days of concurrent workshops (where you can only attend one of four sessions) we’re now offering “Super Sessions” spread out over three days. This means you’ll be able to attend more seminars than ever before.

We don’t think there has ever been a show packed with this much punch. Our challenge now is to get the entire universe of our LCT readership to come! Even though a huge 30% of you do attend the show, too many of you are opting out. To fully understand whom we’ve been missing and why I asked our team to pick up the phone and ask. Here’s what we were told by readers who haven’t been attending our shows:

  1. Virtually all said they were running too small of a company to come. Attending the LCT Show meant closing down their businesses for those days because they had no employees to hold down the fort.
  2. They didn’t have the money to attend. They viewed the travel and registration costs as a luxury they couldn’t afford rather than a business investment they couldn’t pass up.
  3. They were intimidated. They said they didn’t feel a part of the industry and were uncomfortable with going to the show alone and not knowing anyone.

Since most operators started as one-person companies, we wanted to know how they managed the challenge of leaving their businesses for a few days. Gary Bauer, now in business 14 years and operating 45 vehicles, started at age 18 with one car. He said that when he was that one-man-band he had to borrow money on his credit card and lean on family for help running his business so he could get to Las Vegas. Gary credits much of his business’ longevity and success to the information gleaned at the LCT Show.

The LCT Show features the world’s largest selection of products specific to this industry. Think about how efficient it will be to visit more than 100 vendors in three days (see the listing of the LCT Show’s new product launches beginning on page 34). To shop any other way is a luxury. Evaluating what’s on the market in one fell swoop is just smart business. Not only that, the education and the people you meet at your FIRST event will change your operations for the better immediately. As George Zimmer, one of our keynote speakers, says, “I guarantee it!”

No doubt it is a scary proposition to travel to a convention by yourself; it’s easy to get psyched out of coming. Here’s what I suggest. First, call your state association and buddy up with others from your community who are attending. Second, come to our free First-Timers breakfast on opening day and many other first timers and the entire NLA board of directors will surround you. The LCT Staff will all be there, too. We’ll help you get acclimated right away.

I urge you to put your fears aside and come to Las Vegas. I know all of you are serious about making more money at this business and there are hundreds of new ways to help do that awaiting you at the LCT Show.

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