2016 International Car Rental Show: Collaborating for Change

Las Vegas skyline. iStockphoto.com/Sky_Sajjaphot
Las Vegas skyline. iStockphoto.com/Sky_Sajjaphot

If you happen to be flying into Las Vegas at night, take a moment to admire the 30,000-foot view — the city resembles a patchwork of sequins stretched over the desert floor. The moment feels rich with possibility. (Leaving Las Vegas might be a different story, especially if you gamble.)

If you’re flying in for the 2016 International Car Rental Show, be prepared for a 30,000-foot view of the auto rental industry. The industry’s annual event is also rich with possibilities, because you’ve made the commitment to take a few days away from the daily grind to think big picture and return home with ways to take your business to the next level.

Presented in conjunction with the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), the 21st annual International Car Rental Show (ICRS) convenes April 17-19, 2016 at Bally’s Las Vegas. The only event designed for the auto rental industry worldwide, the 2016 ICRS will draw more than 800 attendees from some 30 countries.

This year’s highlights include general addresses covering the recently passed recall legislation, national security, global franchising and the connected car. The show’s concurrent seminars will give answers to those operational challenges.

Coming Together

The ICRS has become the forum to analyze, discuss and gain consensus on the major issues facing the car rental industry today, and this year is no exception.

In addition to two full days of keynote addresses, seminars and educational programming, ICRS features 12 hours of networking events and an exhibit hall with close to 100 exhibitors. Photo by Jann Hendry.
In addition to two full days of keynote addresses, seminars and educational programming, ICRS features 12 hours of networking events and an exhibit hall with close to 100 exhibitors. Photo by Jann Hendry.

With passage of the recall legislation as part of the 2015 transportation bill, the task now lies with car rental operators to understand the law and comply with it. ACRA’s general session will cover the main tenets of the legislation and its path to law, while a separate seminar will be devoted to defining the law and its exemptions as well as presenting solutions to customer service and operational challenges.

Last year’s terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., was carried out with the aid of a rental car. The ACRA seminar will also host a representative from the Department of Homeland Security who will address ways car rental associates can educate themselves on suspicious activity and how to report it.

The “connected car” is past the concept stage, as government-regulated requirements will take effect starting with model-year 2020. Car rental companies — the largest purchasers of new vehicles in the country — will be at the forefront of this adoption. A presentation by the U.S. Department of Transportation will inform attendees on the promise of the connected car, its new technology implementation, changes to infrastructure and what it will mean for the car rental industry.

Since launching its globalization initiative in 2012, Enterprise Holdings has expanded to more than 75 countries worldwide through franchising, acquisition and investment. Peter Smith, vice president of global franchising for Enterprise Holdings, will discuss the company’s ongoing expansion and how its network is being transformed into one unified global system. 

Solving Challenges

ICRS attendees come to Las Vegas with questions on issues specific to their day-to-day businesses. The event’s concurrent seminars are designed to provide answers.

Did you know that under the Graves Amendment you are legally entitled to subrogate from a renter who caused that liability? David Purinton of PurCo will present an advanced seminar to explain those rights under the law and how to execute this subrogation opportunity.

Peter Smith, vice president of global franchising for Enterprise Holdings, will discuss the company's ongoing expansion through franchising and other initiatives and how its network is being transformed into one unified global system.
Peter Smith, vice president of global franchising for Enterprise Holdings, will discuss the company's ongoing expansion through franchising and other initiatives and how its network is being transformed into one unified global system.

Are you selling cars online yet? A hands-on presentation will delve into how to use the main online auction sites: SmartAuction, Adesa’s OpenLane and Manheim’s OVE.com. You’ll understand how and where to post data, when to adjust prices and which types of auctions to use to produce the greatest results.

Could leasing fit into your fleet plan? Representatives from leasing companies will join rental operators for a panel discussion on optimal case scenarios for leasing, lease types and terms, vehicle mix and seasonality considerations, as well as used car leasing.

Have you reviewed your franchise agreement lately? Join the seminar that will analyze the recent developments in franchising from a legal and regulatory perspective. The discussion will cover more than just the car rental industry, not only in the U.S. but also abroad.

Are you ready to grow your corporate business? This seminar will impart strategies to increase outside sales, compete with the majors, train and motivate your sales force and more.

Do you need help attracting and motivating the millennial workforce? Car rental millennial Tyler Koch will provide detailed insight into the mind of the millennial employee and outline 10 keys to their recruitment, retention and motivation for success.

You may have the next big idea, but is your company ready to handle the growth? Mike Kane of VRCG will present examples of how small companies with big ideas changed the landscape. He’ll then lay out a blueprint to poise your company for growth — from implementing the right fleet acquisition and human resources plans to how to define your culture and your exit strategy.

Have you ever pondered why anyone should rent from your company specifically? You will be able to better answer this question by improving your storytelling and authority skills. The team from Frontline Performance Group will present a “notebooks open” creative writing and messaging workshop designed to help you define your company’s narrative and capture the hearts and minds of your audience.

Are your fleet costs getting away from you? A panel of fleet experts will break down proven cost management strategies, from forecasting demand and timing acquisitions and disposals to fine-tuning fleet mix and tracking, maintaining and remarketing fleet more effectively.

What’s right — and what’s wrong — with car rental? Come join our spirited “presidential” debate, where the always-engaging, always-opinionated Sharky Laguana, founder of Bandago, will go toe-to-toe with Noah Lehmann-Haupt, founder of Gotham Dream Cars, on the big issues facing the car rental industry today.

Programming for Groups

Over the past few years, ICRS has presented seminar blocks to address the issues facing specific business groups that are defined by region, country or business type.

The 2016 International Car Rental Show (ICRS) will welcome some 800 attendees from more than 30 countries.Photo by Jann Hendry.
The 2016 International Car Rental Show (ICRS) will welcome some 800 attendees from more than 30 countries.Photo by Jann Hendry.

The “America Latina Réunion Éspecial,” or Latin American meeting, returns for 2016. Presented in Spanish, Portuguese and English, this seminar block represents an exclusive learning opportunity for car rental operators serving Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

This year, the Latin American meeting will take place on Monday April 18, concurrent with other non-competing programming. This will alleviate the need for Latin American operators to extend their stay an extra day, as had been the schedule in past years.

ICRS will once again offer the Rental Car Professional (RCP) certification program on Sunday afternoon. Developed by the Center for International Retail Automotive Standards (CIRAS) and presented by consultant Jim Schalberg, graduates of the program will be recognized at the awards ceremony on Tuesday.

ICRS draws large groups from countries such as China, Korea and Brazil. Similar to past shows, those groups can expect programming designed for them, including off-site visits.

Following its inauguration last year, the “Dealer Day” programming returns on Tuesday April 19 with seminars designed specifically for auto dealers looking to improve their rental and loaner operations. This year, special emphasis will be given to legal issues regarding dealer fleets, specifically the new recall laws.

Old Friends

For many car rental operators and vendors to the industry, ICRS is a time to meet old friends and form new acquaintances. The event offers numerous networking activities, starting with our Welcome Reception on Sunday evening, April 17.

On Monday, the networking kicks off early with the International Meet and Greet at 8 a.m., directly followed by the First Timer’s Orientation, which includes a “speed networking” event.

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