LAS VEGAS — The International LCT Show lived up to its new name with attendees coming from 17 different countries across the globe. The show was held Feb. 26-28 at The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas. International attendees were highly visible during the show and discussed with each other ways to increase their voice within the NLA and build network alliances.
The International LCT Show had record attendance, with operators packing seminar rooms, exhibit spaces and general keynoter sessions. The mood among attendees and exhibitors was very positive, with operators reporting growth in their businesses and exhibitors selling many limousines and other products. Bobit Business Media, the sponsor of the show, said that exhibit space increased 60% over last year’s show.
Coach builders reported broad interest in their product lines. Some coachbuilders sold more than 40 vehicles off the show floor. One noticeable trend was operators inquiring about and purchasing vehicles that can carry larger groups of clients, including super stretches, limo buses and vans.
The 2006 Operators of Year were named during LCT’s annual awards gala dinner. The winners for each category were:
·1-10 Vehicles — Ken and Susie Martin, Stardust Cruises Limousine Service
·11-30 Vehicles — Jeffrey Rose, Attitude New York
·31-50 Vehicles — Mark Mollica, Black Tie Limousine
·51+ Vehicles — Gary Bauer, Bauer’s Limousine & Transportation Service
Earlier that evening during the awards gala, the NLA raised $32,500 for its charitable arm, the Harold Berkman Fund, during its live auction. The auction was facilitated by a professional auctioneer who was able to raise the energy level and bidding as the auction built to its finale. Following the annual operator and marketing awards, LCT Magazine Publisher Sara Eastwood presented a distinguished service award to Scott Solombrino, who concluded four years as president of the NLA.
Seminar sessions were well attended and well received up through the very end of the show. Two seminars in particular packed in crowds and generated buzz on the show floor — industry legend George’s Jacobs session on buying and selling limousine companies and a workshop on super stretch marketing given by Limo Bob and LimeLite Coach Works President Phil Restivo.
Attendees also kept their attention fixed on two other keynoters — Steve Farber and Dr. Tom Steiner, who encouraged operators to incorporate best practices from leading companies and understand the psychological and emotional components of the service experience their clients would like to have luxury transportation companies provide to them. Another big hit was a special appearance by “Mr. President,” a George W. Bush impersonator, during a cocktail reception hosted by Cadillac Professional Vehicles.