The annual Limousine Association of New Jersey fundraiser has long served as a role model for industry togetherness.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Something wonderful must be happening out there in Limo Land, given the latest stats on the industry’s leading global trade show, set to begin Sunday, Feb. 16.
As of this week, pre-registrations are 17% more than the level recorded last year at this point in the pre-International LCT Show cycle. The 100,000-square-foot convention hall at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was sold out weeks ago. So far, 120 exhibitors and 84 chauffeured vehicles and buses will be jammed onto the floor for three days, Feb. 16-18. While precise projections are difficult to make at this point, attendance and vendor activity points to a Show that will bring a vibe more reminiscent of the pre-recession 2005-2007 ILCT Shows (more than 3,000 attendees each) than those held during the recession-challenged years of 2009-2011 (less than 3,000 attendees each).
This year’s Show follows closely the success of LCT Show East in Atlantic City, N.J. Oct. 26-28, 2013, the first year of LCT’s rebirth of the original limo trade show it launched there in 1984: 1,100 attendees instead of the projected 800. As LCT’s annual Fact Book and Industry Guide indicates, the number of operators, sales revenues and chauffeured business overall steadily increased from 2012 to 2013.
Those strong trend lines ensure that chauffeured and charter vehicles will once again be the stars of this year’s Show. Since the Lincoln Town Car sedan was retired in 2011, the chauffeured transportation industry has been presented with a historic high in the number, variety and styles of vehicle models. With a vehicle market in constant flux, operators are trying out and diversifying their fleets more than at any point in the 30-year organized history of the limousine industry.
Whereas the 2012 and 2013 Shows revolved around competing sedan successors to the venerable Town Car, this year we are seeing competition heating up in the SUV, van and bus niches. Among the “big story” vehicle highlights to watch for at this year’s Show:
Overall, when you connect the dots on all the micro- and niche vehicle trends shaping up in the limousine vehicle market, it points to a vigorous future for diverse group ground transportation, as operators embrace technology and new segments of clients in a gradually growing economy and corporate business travel sector. And to underscore the point: The stretch limo never died; it just morphed into dynamic custom stretches, high-end luxury vans, and all types and styles of mini-buses.
That’s just for vehicles. Now, on to the limo people.
No International LCT Show is complete without networking, as thousands of operators make new connections, maintain old ones, and angle for new business. Premium networking hotspots this year include (in scheduled order):
Of course, good things really can happen after midnight at limousine trade shows, so keep your ear out for private hospitality suite parties that keep networking circuits tingling long into the howling Vegas nights.
— Martin Romjue, LCT editor
Related Topics: Acton SoCal Penske Professional Vehicles, Cadillac Professional Vehicles, Chrysler, custom limousines, custom stretches, Ford Transit Van, Grech Motors, ILCT 2014, LA Custom Coach, Las Vegas, limo tradeshows, Lincoln, Lincoln Limousine & Livery Vehicles, Mercedes-Benz, Meridian Specialty Vehicles, networking, new vehicles, parties, Sprinter, tradeshow preparation
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