Industry Events Don’t Have To Be Overwhelming

Jim Luff
Posted on August 15, 2018
One thing's for certain...LCT Shows are where true friendships are built.
One thing's for certain...LCT Shows are where true friendships are built.

There was a time in the early 90’s when there were essentially three limo shows to attend. The show names are not even important. There was an East Coast show, a West Coast show, and a “wanna-be” show that died along with the entire brand that produced it.

Last week was NELA’s golf tournament. This week, I just got back from the Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego with my fellow LCT editor Lexi Tucker. At the end of the month is the Greater Atlanta Limousine Association golf tournament. Next month, GCLA and ALA will host their respective casino nights. These events have become big affairs. It’s not uncommon to see industry members fly across the country to attend GCLA’s annual Holiday Party which itself has become an “event.”

Attending these events surely puts a strain on the wallet with registration fees, airfare, hotels, and other travel expenses, not to mention the strain it might put on your business while being away. There is of course another expense involved: Sponsorship. You can’t expect to make it through the day without at least one phone call asking you to pony up money for this event, for that show, this retreat, that association party and this golf tournament. It’s overwhelming.

It seems like if you miss an event or show, people start speculating on why you weren’t there. Was it a financial decision? Did you decide you like one show over another? I recently spoke with a smaller operator who candidly asked me, “Which show should I attend, LCT East or the other “big show in Washington, D.C.?" My honest answer was – BOTH. Every show has something to offer. Whether it’s the educational aspect or the networking aspect, if you miss any industry show, it sends a signal. Let’s call that signal, “fake news.” There could be a million reasons why you are not there but people still talk.

With all these events and the pressure to attend or sponsor, how do you decide which events and shows to attend? Obviously the decision should be made based on what positive (and negative) effects it will have on your business today and into the future. Does attending ALA’s Casino Night in Phoenix boost your business in Florida? Maybe.  Only you know the answer to that.

Personally, my favorite show has always been LCT-NLA Show East. (I’ve been a contributing writer and editor for LCT since 2005). While it is a smaller show compared to the International LCT Show in Las Vegas, it packs a punch. The show floor is smaller so you can really visit every single booth without rushing. The educational content is second to none. The networking events are small enough that you can actually work a room and have meaningful one-on-one conversations with people.

As far as the location, I’ve heard the grumblings about Atlantic City. Once I arrive at the hotel, I don’t leave until the show is over. So, really, you could drop that Harrah’s hotel into any city in America and the events of the show would be exactly the same. I’m not there to sightsee in early November. I’m there to learn and grow and get the most value for the money.

Related Topics: industry events, LCT Events, LCT Show, LCT-NLA Show East, limo tradeshows, networking, tradeshow preparation, tradeshows

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
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