It seems like only a few short months ago that I was in Las Vegas for BusCon 2003. The memories are not only strong but good. Attendance was high, with more than 2,000 industry professionals from 48 states taking in the top-notch educational program and visiting with the 120 exhibitors during the two-day trade show.
More to the point, the attendees were happy with their investment of time and energy. BusCon gave them the opportunity to expand their knowledge base with powerful presentations and panel discussions and to spend quality time with representatives of bus and chassis manufacturers, as well as suppliers of dozens of other products and services.
I’ve heard from some of last year’s attendees that they found exactly what they were looking for. One gentleman said he was shopping for 30-foot buses for his fleet. You know what? He found them on the trade show floor, and when he got back home, he ordered them. Talk about one-stop shopping!
My kind of town
Because METRO sponsors this annual show for medium- and light-duty buses, I’ve had a front-row seat for every BusCon since its inception in 1995. I’m especially looking forward to this year’s event, scheduled Sept. 28 to 30 at the Navy Pier in Chicago.
That’s because I think we’ve got the makings of our best show yet. Let’s face it, we picked an excellent location. Chicago is a great destination city, with outstanding restaurants, bars and tourist attractions. And, within Chicago, the Navy Pier is a perfect choice. Located on Lake Michigan, it offers unique dining, entertainment and amusement opportunities for both adults and children.
That’s why BusCon keeps returning to the Windy City. This will be our third trip to the Navy Pier in the 10 years that we’ve held the event.
We’ve also got a great line-up of educational sessions covering a wide range of subjects in the areas of bus maintenance, equipment, financing and security. Industry experts such as bus maintenance guru Halsey King and insurance authority Jack Burkert have been enlisted to provide their insights. We’ve also got a host of other industry specialists who will share their experience and wisdom.
Here are the titles of just some of the scheduled presentations and panel discussions:
7 Ways to Improve Your Maintenance Program
The Secrets of Successful Spec’ing
Passenger Security in a Terrorist Era
How to Reduce Workers’ Comp Costs
10 Bus Financing Tips From the Experts
We’ll also continue to offer learning opportunities for those involved in university and college transportation. This is an initiative that we launched in Las Vegas last year with an exploratory roundtable. BusCon 2004 will feature another roundtable but will supplement that with a panel discussion on funding challenges facing campus bus operators.
These educational sessions will be complemented by a keynote presentation by Lyle Cummins, son of Clessie Cummins, the founder of Cummins Inc., the diesel engine manufacturer in Columbus, Ind. Lyle, who has a masters degree in engineering from Stanford University, will entertain and inform with a fascinating retrospective of the diesel engine.
Support from our friends
Although we’ve been putting on BusCon for nearly 10 years now, we can’t take on such a large venture without the support of the industry. That’s why we’ve garnered the support of several sponsors, including the American Bus Association, the American Ground Transportation Association, the Illinois Public Transportation Association, the Illinois Motorcoach Association and the Mid-Size Bus Manufacturers Association.
For more information about BusCon, visit www.bobitexpos.com or call (310) 533-2556. I hope to see you in Chicago!