No. 1 Goal for 2020: A Spirit Of Industry Cooperation

Jim Luff
Posted on December 11, 2019
Jim Luff talks to a crowd at the 2019 GCLA holiday party about his plans for 2020 and beyond. (Photo: Lexi Tucker)

Jim Luff talks to a crowd at the 2019 GCLA holiday party about his plans for 2020 and beyond. (Photo: Lexi Tucker)

As I attended the annual Greater California Livery Association's annual holiday party on Dec. 3, I had fond memories of the humble beginnings of the GCLA. A typical meeting in the late 90s might have drawn 25 operators.The primary leaders of the group included Cheryl Berkman (Music Express), Mark Stewart and Jonna Sabroff. I viewed GCLA as more of a little club at that time.

Now look at the force of this organization 20 years later. The victories achieved with TNC operations and fairness, LAX operations, and so much more clearly shows the power of the membership. More than 200 people attended the holiday party with many traveling from Boise, Idaho, Virginia, New York, and all points in between. It has been an amazing experience to watch the organization grow and flourish. When people work together, much can be accomplished.

On that note, I gave a speech at the GCLA holiday party that outlined some of my goals for the LCT brand as we head into 2020. Perhaps the most important is creating a spirit of cooperation between the two magazines serving the industry. I began attending the LCT Show in Las Vegas in 1994. The LCT Show has been held in the first quarter of the year for nearly three decades. Perhaps in 2020 there were no other dates available for our competitor to choose from. This resulted in forcing operators and exhibitors to make big decisions on whether to attend both shows, whether to stay in Vegas for a week or longer, or what to do. I am truly sorry that you were placed in that position.

I spent 25 years as an operator. Many days I struggled to find time to eat or even use the restroom, let alone leave the business for 10 days. I didn’t have the time or the money to attend all these shows, retreats, summits, boot camps or focus groups. There are simply too many of these things pulling you away from your business and extracting money from razor-thin profit margins.

My goals for 2020 include providing the best quality education we can provide, bringing you the latest up-to-date industry news in a variety of formats, having a larger presence on social media, working in a cooperative spirit with our competitor, and doing what is best for industry operators and partners. I was always the kid who invited other kids to play in the same sandbox with me and my friends. I have never been one to be exclusive or belong to cliques. I’m inclusionary.

I Want You to Attend Both Shows

If you look back in the past, I have always advocated in my articles that members of the industry should attend both shows. Every show offers networking and educational opportunities, and more importantly, the opportunity to grow your business through education and affiliation. You will never hear me badmouth another show or publication. While some vendors have signed exclusive agreements and chosen not to attend our 2020 International LCT Show, that handful has been replaced with vendors chomping at the bit to earn your business. There will be deals of a lifetime as new vendors come in longing to steal you away from those vendors who previously had a lock on the industry. This means savings for you.

Can Competitors Coexist?

As I wrapped up my speech, I asked how many operators at the GCLA party had a competitor in the room. Nearly half the room placed their hand in the air. I then asked how many competitors were sharing a dinner table. The results were the same. A ton of hands went up in the air and proving that competitors can break bread, enjoy fellowship and most importantly, work together in the spirit of cooperation to do great things. I can tell you that our show dates are already booked for 2021 and 2022 and I am happy to share those dates with our competitor for the benefit of our entire industry.

Related Topics: 2020 ILCT, Greater California Livery Association, industry events, Jim Luff, LCT Magazine, leadership, networking, tradeshow preparation, tradeshows

Jim Luff General Manager
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