Following last year’s successful venue change and subsequent buzz, the 20th installment of BusCon will once again roll into Indianapolis’ Indiana Convention Center, featuring all the latest vehicles and technology, Sept. 28 to 30. Registration at the event begins Monday, Sept. 28 from Noon to 5 p.m. at the convention center.
The show kicks off Monday afternoon with two sessions hosted by the United Motorcoach Association and the Bus & Motorcoach Academy — “Social Media Made Easy for Motorcoach Operators” and “Alcohol – What is Your Exposure?”
Also on the bill that afternoon will be the informative session “Turn Millenials into Customers,” featuring Porschia Parker, founder of Fly High Coaching and the Millennial Performance Institute. Parker will discuss who this important demographic is, how they think and how you might be able to attract them to your operation.
Following the afternoon programming, this year’s Welcome Reception will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium — home of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts — where attendees can network and get a behind-the-scenes look at one of sports’ newest iconic stadiums.
As always, “North America’s Biggest Bus Show” will offer the largest quantity and widest variety of vehicle and products on its expanded show floor, giving attendees the chance to see more than 60 buses of all sizes and types, including electric, CNG and propane vehicles. The show floor will be open Tuesday, Sept. 29 from Noon to 5 p.m. and Wednesday, Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
While bus, cutaway and chassis displays from a large array of manufacturers again take center stage, many other suppliers and technology providers will be on hand to showcase all the latest solutions on the market, with more than 50 new companies appearing at the show, compared to last year.
Manufacturers scheduled to display vehicles include ABC Companies, Ameritrans, ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, BYD, CH Bus Sales, Complete Coach Works, Ford, Freedom Motors, Freightliner Custom Chassis, Glaval, GM, Micro Bird, New Flyer, Thomas Built Buses and Turtle Top, as well as bus manufacturers new to the U.S. market, including Karsan USA and INDBUS.
The Keynote Address on Tuesday at 11 a.m., sponsored by Q’Straint/Sure-Lok, is entitled “Driving Excellence.” The can’t-be-missed address will be given by Mark Aesch, CEO of TransPro, a management consultancy that guides transit systems, who also formerly served for several years in the public transit sector. Aesch’s address will show how to revitalize staid cultures, motivate teams to reach higher levels of efficiency and transform customer service into customer satisfaction.
Three popular speakers — TAPTCO’s Jeff Cassell and L-3, DP Associates’ Louie Maiello and Steve Mentzer — are back to tackle new subjects, “How to Train and Keep Your Drivers” and “Preventing Future Bus Collisions,” respectively, while the Ameri-can Bus Association’s Dan Ronan will discuss how to manage a crisis at your operation, including how to deal with the media using practical tools for effective communication and what steps you need to take to protect your reputation and keep your opera-tion moving forward.
Also on tap for Tuesday’s program are the “Factors You Have to Consider with Alternative Fuels” session; Lancer Insurance Co.’s Bob Crescenzo’s talk on fatigue management; and the Feature Panel, “Practical Experiences with Electric Buses,” featuring three industry CEOs who are each using a different manufacturer’s vehicle, which will be hosted by IndyGo’s President/CEO Michael Terry.
Meanwhile, BusCon’s Night on the Town will be held at the Slippery Noodle Inn — Indiana’s oldest bar and just a short walk from the convention center.
Attendees will also not want to miss the BusCon Breakfast Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, featuring the inaugural METRO Innovative Solutions Awards, honoring operations and their supplier partners who launched new programs that positively im-pacted their business. Also on hand to present awards will be the Mid-Size Bus Man-ufacturers Association’s President Scott Reston, who will honor fleets for their continued support of the medium-sized vehicle industry, and the Propane Education & Research Council, who will honor operators out in front in the use of propane-fueled vehicles.
The educational program also continues on Wednesday with a special session for limousine and other operators looking to get into the motorcoach industry, entitled “Buses 101: Buying Your FIrst Bus and What to Consider,” which will help newbies learn about the entire bus purchasing experience from choosing the right vehicle to exploring financing options.
Additional sessions on Wednesday include “Is Your System American Disabilities Act Compliant with Your Federal Regu-lations?” with DoubleMap’s Ilya Rekhter and a conversation with some of the winners from this year’s aforementioned Innovative Solutions Awards.
Meanwhile the Closing General Session, “How Technology is Transforming Options for Riders and Filling Buses” will feature Matt George, CEO of commuter bus service Bridj, and Numaan Akram, founder/CEO of the crowd-powered event travel company Rally Bus, who will discuss how big data and mobile technology is changing the face of intermodal transportation.
Sponsors for the 20th annual BusCon event include Q’Straint/Sure-Lok, Terrapin Blue, Ford Commercial Vehicles and Advantage Funding. For more information and to register for the event, visit www.BusConExpo.com or call (800) 576-8788.