Over the years, the Car Rental Show has seen a range of speakers and attendees, and brings even more educational seminars and networking opportunities in 2013.

Over the years, the Car Rental Show has seen a range of speakers and attendees, and brings even more educational seminars and networking opportunities in 2013.

You say you’ve never been to a Car Rental Show? We won’t hold that against you, especially if you plan on joining us April 15-16 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

To aid your first-time experience, here are some things you’ll want to know before embarking on your trip. You old-timers might pick up something too.

(See a slideshow of the 2012 Car Rental Show here.)

Why We Gather

Now in its 18th year, the Car Rental Show (CRS) is an expo, education and networking event all rolled into one. Held in conjunction with the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), CRS is the only event that serves the entire car rental industry.

For old-timers, CRS is a place to reconnect with old friends, make new connections and learn new tricks. For you, the newbie, it will become an essential immersion into what’s going on outside your daily domain and is an opportunity to obtain a wealth of knowledge, new contacts and business expansion ideas in two jam-packed days.

New Month, New Hotel

The dates for the 2013 Car Rental Show have been moved from our March timeframe to April 15-16.

This date change is in conjunction with the big news of our new headquarters hotel for 2013, the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. We’re excited to soak up the festive, exotic and colorful atmosphere of Brazilian Carnaval!

Who Attends

The entire spectrum of the auto rental industry attends the Car Rental Show, from owners and manager-level employees from franchised and independent car rental companies to those from luxury rental companies, dealerships and body shops. As well, representatives from the major car rental companies come as speakers and attendees.

CRS is “The Global Marketplace for the Car Rental Industry,” and for good reason. Some 26 countries and territories participated in last year’s show, from Japan and Australia to Brazil, South Africa and countries across Europe.

Industry vendors attending and exhibiting include representatives from the major auto manufacturers, independent fleet suppliers, fleet leasing and financing companies, business and legal consultants, online travel agencies (OTAs) and global distribution systems, as well as the myriad of companies that produce the products and services needed to run an auto rental business.

What Happens

The CRS agenda is a mixture of networking opportunities, exhibitor interaction, general session addresses and breakout seminars. All CRS events happen in the Rio Hotel’s Convention Center. The general sessions and keynote addresses are geared toward the entire industry, while the concurrent breakout seminars offer solutions to specific business challenges.

Networking opportunities begin with a pre-show cocktail reception on Sunday evening, followed by our inaugural First-Timers’ Orientation on Monday morning. The Monday agenda also includes an afternoon networking break and ends with our Opening Reception in the exhibit hall, sponsored by American Express.

Tuesday starts with breakfast and continues with a morning networking break, followed by lunch and an afternoon networking break. The Closing Reception in the exhibit hall concludes the show.

This Year’s Agenda

This year, Bud Denker of the Penske Corporation will deliver the opening keynote address. He will discuss Penske’s recent expansion into the rental car segment and will expand on the company’s plans for growth of its franchise network, including the synergies between its car rental and dealership divisions, and the buying and selling of cars.

The Tuesday morning general session will be delivered by Ziad Khoury, founder of the Frontline Performance Group (FPG). Khoury will show attendees what it takes to create a lasting, people-centered and profit-focused performance culture based on an analysis of the strongest firms that Khoury’s FPG team has worked with over the last 20 years.

For the closing keynote, Tom Webb of Manheim, Ricky Beggs of Black Book and Alec Gutierrez of Kelley Blue Book will discuss the moving parts of the auto industry and the forces affecting fleet costs this year and beyond.

Breakout seminar topics this year include how to maximize corporate business, improving phone reservation procedures, rate management techniques, ancillary sales, remarketing, tax and accounting, a tech product roundup and profitability in car sharing.

Other general sessions include the annual legal and legislative update by Leslie Pujo of LaPlaca Pujo PC and the ACRA Update and Interactive Panel Session.

How to Register

To register and to view the full show schedule, visit www.carrentalshow.com. From there, you will be able to register online, by fax or mail, or you may register by phone by calling (817) 635-0302.

Inaugural First-Timers’ Orientation

New for 2013, the Car Rental Show (CRS) is instituting a First-Timers’ Orientation. This session will take place 9:30 a.m.-10 a.m. on Monday, April 15. There, you’ll get to meet members of our events department staff, myself and other special guests.

We’ll be on hand to show you how to maximize your education and networking opportunities and get the most out of your Car Rental Show experience!

As well, feel free to approach us at any point during CRS to answer a question or help in any way needed.

A Car Rental Show Quiz

For the old-timers, access your Car Rental Show memory banks to figure out which of the following statements is false:

  1. J.D. Power was the keynote speaker at the first-ever Auto Rental News Show, held at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Oct. 27-30, 1996.
  2. The Car Rental Show has always been held in Las Vegas.
  3. The 2001 Car Rental Show, to have been held three weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, was canceled.
  4. The Car Rental Show was held at the Las Vegas Hilton for nine years, from 2004 to 2012.
  5. The 1999 Car Rental Show was held at the Rio.
  6. The Russell J. Bruno Award for outstanding service to the auto rental industry has been given at CRS since 2004. Before that, ARN bestowed the Executive Leadership Award.  Winners of these two awards include Sandy Miller, Ken Elder, Jim Shapiro, Bob Barton, Sharon Faulkner and Michael LaPlaca.

(Click the next page below to see the answer.)

Five Quick Tips for CRS

  • Make Appointments Beforehand. Exhibitors are happy to schedule appointments during the show, off expo time.
  • Forget the Heels. You’ll be doing a lot of walking, so wear comfortable shoes. Don’t worry about making a fashion statement.
  • Know the Fare. The trip from McCarran Airport to the Rio is 4.9 miles and will take about 13 minutes by taxi. The estimated taxi fare with taxes and tip is about $25.
  • Wait for the Raffle. Exhibitors hold their raffle drawings in the expo hall at the closing reception. You won’t win if you’re not there!

[PAGEBREAK]Quiz Answer: #3 - The 2001 Car Rental Show was not canceled.