GCLA Expo and Trade Show, Sept. 19, 2012, Costa Mesa, Calif.
COSTA MESA, Calif. — Since adding its first red carpet two years ago, an annual vehicle expo and meeting of California operators has evolved into the largest trade-show style event for the limousine industry — outside of an established full trade show.
The Greater California Livery Association’s annual "Expo and Trade Show" — its most heavily attended event of the year and the largest state limo association event of its kind in the U.S. — is being held Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Promenade and Gardens, 1570 Scenic Ave., in Costa Mesa, Calif.
About 250-275 attendees are expected along with 35-plus vehicles.
The annual expo started its surge in 2011 when GCLA leaders decided to group the outdoor event around a literal Hollywood-style red carpet unrolled in front of vehicle displays along the Back Bay of Newport Beach. Last year, the number and variety of vehicles, vendors and attendees grew, drawing operators from across the country and from Canada to take advantage of vehicle deals and network with a Who’s Who of industry figures and high-profile vendors and sponsors.
It also includes multiple food and drink stations, entertainment by a jazz artist and a DJ, and of course the continuous business networking amid vendor displays. But the biggest draw for the “evening under the stars” event has always been the actual stars: Luxury chauffeured vehicles.
A sampling of the vehicles confirmed for display this year include such corporate/ business vehicles as the: Lincoln MKT Town Car, Lincoln MKS sedan, Lincoln Navigator SUV, Cadillac XTS and Cadillac Escalade SUV, the Hyundai Equus and Genesis sedans, the Chrysler 300, the Toyota Avalon, the BMW 535 GT and 7 Series sedans, and the Mercedes-Benz S350, S550 and Sprinter Vans.
Among the featured exhibitors of stretch limousines, minibuses, vans and limo buses will be leading dealers and manufactures such as: CH Bus Sales, Mercedes-Benz, Tiffany Coachworks, Nations Bus, Creative Bus Sales, Coach West Motorcars, Grech Motors and Quality Coachworks.
The keynote speaker will be LCT’s very own Sara Eastwood-McLean, the magazine publisher, chairwoman of LCT Show East and the International LCT Show, and liaison between LCT Magazine and the National Limousine Association. Her topic, “What Traits Do You Need To Lead?” will offer practical ways to inspire customers, motivate employees and pursue creative visions. Sara will also update attendees on the latest developments surrounding LCT Show East, Oct. 27-29, in Atlantic City, N.J., the most anticipated industry event on the East Coast this year.
Key sponsors of the event include Ford Fleet/Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles and credit card processing vendor, Chosen Payments.
GCLA EXPO REGISTRATION INFO HERE
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
LCT Background Article: 2011 GCLA Expo
LCT Background Article: 2012 GCLA Expo