Stand up and give yourself a round of applause: You—our attendees, speakers, exhibitors, and sponsors—made the 2022 CD/NLA Show in Las Vegas a runaway success. From our jam-packed educational sessions to the bustling show floor, there was an unprecedented energy on full display at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. It was crystal clear that the industry was more than ready to get back together after two years away, and we can’t thank you enough for your enthusiasm for the event. And a special thank you goes to our Title Sponsors Ford-Lincoln Livery Vehicles and Volvo for their continued support and their part in putting together the event of the season (you can see the entire list of our generous sponsors at cdnlavegas.com).
From our standing-room-only Sunday morning opening session, The Secret to Recruiting and Retaining Top Performers, it was evident that our attendees were hungry for timely solutions to current challenges. With that very goal in mind, the CD/NLA Education Committee, spearheaded by co-chairs Jason Sharenow of Broadway Elite Worldwide (who also moderated several of the sessions) and Tracy Raimer of Windy City Limousine & Bus, knocked it out of the park with their programming. Whether it was seminars about preparing to buy or sell a company, sales strategies, retail work, fleet options, cannabis policies, or remote employees, our attendees showed up ready to learn. Equally popular were panel discussions like the Small Operator Roundtable and Corporate Travel and Client Panel, which garnered rave reviews from those in attendance. Once again, Education Sponsor FASTTRAK Cloud (along with Coffee Sponsor Buffalo Limousine) stepped up and played an important role in bringing pertinent knowledge to operators of all sizes and markets.
There are certain events at CD/NLA Shows that are guaranteed crowd-pleasers: The always-popular Affiliate Central Global Partner Forum (sponsored by Volvo) featured wall-to-wall networking among operators looking to gain new partners and expand their business network, while our International Meet & Greet and Women in the Industry Event (sponsored by Ford-Lincoln, Carolina Limousine & Coach, and Urban Worldwide) attracted operators from around the globe and offered ample opportunities for handshakes and business cards to be swapped. And there was no shortage of new faces at the show, which made our First-Timers’ Event an elbow-to-elbow introduction to the CD/NLA experience. And, speaking of packed houses, our State of the Industry, moderated by CD President Chris Weiss and sponsored by Grech Motors, was another SRO event as perspectives from six whip-smart operators of varied sizes and years in the business were shared to a rapt crowd.
Networking abounded at every corner of the show, not just the events dedicated to mingling. Operators were making new friends and exchanging information at our morning breakfasts and afternoon lunches on the show floor, running into each other in elevators or on the way to dinner, or while grabbing a drink at the property’s bars or during our show floor Happy Hours. It’s clear that our attendees meant business!
That electricity, however, extended way past our session rooms; there was a visible climate of commerce on our show floor as operators were actively buying vehicles, technology, and services as they got a taste of the latest products from the more than 75 vendors who were present. As operators are actively looking to replenish their fleet, the show floor presented the perfect opportunity with bus, motorcoach, and OEM exhibitors on hand to supply the newest models geared for our industry. It was clear that, for many attendees, being on an active show floor for the first time in two years sparked the urge to shake hands and close deals—especially as vehicles are in high demand.
And of course, our nighttime networking events kept the energy high long after the lights were turned off in our classrooms. This year, we brought a bit of the carnival midway experience to our show floor for our Opening Night Show Floor Soiree on Sunday night. Live entertainers regaled our attendees with their feats of gravity-defying ball and stilt walking, while magicians mystified with their sleight of hand, and tarot card readers reveled the secrets of the future. What’s more, Marilyn and Elvis strolled alongside the sleek cars, buses, and motorcoaches on display, while caricature artists and photo booths provided show-goers with a light-hearted souvenir. On Monday, we revved the time-travelin’ DeLorean to 88 mph as we channeled the days of beepers and neon with our Totally Awesome ’80s Party, which allowed attendees to relive the decade of decadence. Whether it was crimped and gravity-defying hair or dressing like Marty McFly, our industry got caught up in ‘80s fever and jumped into things full swing. And the DJ’ed music and quick bites—not to mention our endless drinks—transported us all to a time when things were radder and “zoom” wasn’t the dreaded virtual meeting platform.
Once again, we thank our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, and attendees for making this yet another event for the books. With the 2022 CD/NLA Show in the rear-view mirror, we look forward to seeing our friends and colleagues at the future Chauffeur Driven and NLA events we have planned for 2022. First is the Chauffeur Driven Executive Retreat, scheduled for June 12-14 in Miami Beach. Limited to 200 operators, our Retreats offer a blend of high-level educational content, local food and flavor, tours, and team-building events, with, a bit of quality time by the pool or on the sand to create an amazing, relaxing, and revitalizing experience from beginning to end. Then, November 13-16, we return to the Gaylord National, just outside of Washington, D.C., for our fall CD/NLA Show. With our industry fully in comeback mode, we anticipate a year of memorable events and high profits for luxury ground transportation.
We’ll have plenty of photos and reminiscence of the 2022 CD/NLA Show in our next issue of Chauffeur Driven, which will be available in your inbox or at chauffeurdriven.com later this month.