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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Each annual International LCT Show carries a distinct theme and delivers a package of trends, if you look closely. The industry gatherings may seem to blur together year after year, but a trip through each Show floor and multiple sessions provide an evolving picture.
Our most recent Show, the 30th anniversary edition, drove home more than any other that the industry and its business demands are at the mercy of technology, changing tastes and constant communication. We’re always plugged in and ready to change our minds amid so many apps and options for everything.
I try to spot some of the most innovative developments each year and recount them here:
1) Online Clients
The State-of-the-Industry presentation from Limos.com’s Doug Anderson underscored how much faster technology shakes out market dynamics. Anderson has been updating the industry on tech trends for at least five years. Since his first presentation in 2009, the number of Internet users worldwide has climbed from 1.6 billion to 2.4 billion, and will be at 5 billion in 2020. About 35% of business travelers are now of the Millennial Generation. That includes anyone 30 years old and under, whose lifespans have existed entirely since the famous “1984” Super Bowl ad for McIntosh. Mobile devices outsell PCs three to one. Anderson outlined convulsive shifts in the business/corporate travel industry, namely more ground transportation options with a more open, unmanaged travel movement spurred by all-the-time mobile apps. Limo operators need to be mobile friendly and embrace the ASAP clients, with a defined market, vision for growth, and plan for goals, he said.
2) Higher Maintenances
Nothing conveys the idea of instant, personalized technology more than a service that was demonstrated on the Show floor by Kristian M. Wanderaas from Padlet Solutions (www.padletsolutions.com). The company offers customized signage, all-browser downloadable apps from which limo operators can choose from logos, backgrounds and illustrations to create tablet-based electronic greeting signs and messages for clients. Of course, this can be done in seconds and communicates visual elegance and personal attention to chauffeured clients. Like the famous credit card says, that’s “priceless” for your marketing and image. Padlet also has created a limousine maintenance/inspection app that can note and document all mechanical actions, inspections and incident events associated with a fleet vehicle, accessible remotely 24/7 by designated chauffeurs and employees. It can send e-mails and notifications and even record uploaded mobile photos of any dents. The app can be customized and configured to a company’s parameters.