Last week, we traveled down to New Orleans for the UMA Motorcoach Expo and BigRoad’s first trade show of 2015.
The United Motorcoach Association is the largest association of professional bus and motorcoach companies in North America and it sure knows how to put on a great trade show! The UMA Motorcoach Expo is run in conjunction with the NTA Convention. This combined event is a must for anyone involved with motorcoaches from body shops right through to regional tourism boards.
This is the 3rd year BigRoad has participated in the UMA Motorcoach Expo and it was the 1st time featuring the shiny new BigRoad pickup truck at a large event.
Our new engine-connected option, DashLink, marked its debut at the show. We were also invited to speak at an educational session entitled, Selecting the Right Electronic Logging Device (ELD). Being such a hot topic, it was standing-room only during the session. We were grateful to be a part of it and hope we helped to dispel some myths around the ELD mandate.
We sent three of BigRoad’s finest down to The Big Easy for the UMA show. Here are their impressions of the expo:
Lee Payne – Marketing Product Manager
This UMA Expo was full of firsts for me: first visit to New Orleans, first time I’ve attended a UMA show, first time BigRoad has had a vehicle on a trade show floor, and first time I’ve had the privilege to participate in an industry panel on eLogs.
Being part of the eLog panel was the highlight of the show for me. There was standing room only in a room packed with over 150 people. It was great to be able to dispel some myths about electronic logs and to share some of my accumulated expertise and passion for our work with an amazing audience.
New Orleans is a party town and that atmosphere extended to the show floor. I had a great conversation with a twelve-foot-tall clown who really loved the BigRoad truck, but the overall atmosphere didn’t distract from what everyone was there to do: discover new ways to improve their businesses.
The traffic to our booth was non-stop. I was constantly busy giving demos and discussing the benefits of electronic logs, but it wasn’t just a one-way conversation. I also learned a ton about the motorcoach industry from the many knowledgeable and experienced visitors who came by. It was a real pleasure to attend.
Marcia Herteis – Customer Experience Manager
The opening night was a blast! There were people dressed up as clowns walking around on stilts and a marching band wandering the floor, playing music.
The BigRoad booth was busy even before the show officially opened and the traffic stayed constant over the course of the three days. I was happily surprised to see so many existing customers visit us at our booth to tell us about how much they love using BigRoad. The positive feedback about our program from both existing customers and from people seeing BigRoad for the first time is what makes my job so much fun! I had a great time showing BigRoad’s eLogs and DashLink and explaining how it can work for everyone.
The BigRoad truck was a people magnet! Some people came over specifically to see the truck and a few even asked us to pop the hood so they can see the engine!
Throughout the show, many people congratulated Lee on his panel presentation. BigRoad is the expert in electronic logs and Lee proved that point by knowing the industry, the rules and BigRoad inside and out.
Robert Weliver – Business Development
I dropped into New Orleans with just 23 days left till Mardi Gras. The city was in the midst of preparations and a party atmosphere was already in the air. I was here to attend UMA 2015, the largest motorcoach show in North America.
One of the perks of being a vendor at UMA 2015 was the interesting stories customers shared. We learned that pricing for a standard touring motorcoach (bus) starts at $500K. We learned that passenger’s expectations for quality WIFI requires additional expense. Sadly, we also learned that due to the current shortage of drivers and poor business ethics, there are instances where busloads of unsuspecting customers are in the hands of inexperienced drivers.
UMA 2015 coincided with the launch of BigRoad’s DashLink engine connected logging device. DashLink can also provide state mileage as well as the promise of additional user analytics in the near future. It was great to see so much interest in DashLink from businesses looking to get a jump on the ELD mandate. At BigRoad, we are driver focused and remain committed to improving safety in both the motorcoach and trucking industries.
The show was a huge success. The addition of some delicious, fresh Gulf Coast seafood plus the debut of new BigRoad Dodge Ram made for quite a memorable event.
If you’re in the motorcoach industry and have any concerns about hours of service, electronic logging or the ELD mandate be sure to register for our upcoming webinar.
We hope to see you at the UMA Motorcoach EXPO next year in Atlanta!