Tomorrow I’ll be in New Jersey, if all goes according to plan, so I can check out how Richie Acosta and the boys at East Coast Large Car are getting along. This is one of the biggest weekends of their trucking lives as they become the promoters of a full-on truck show instead of being one of the competitors and/or attendees.
I’m really pulling for them and hope their inaugural ECLC Truck Show, being held at the Sussex County Fairgrounds this Saturday, is a rip-roaring success.
Organizing a truck show isn’t easy. Just ask our man Bud Farquhar, who organizes all of our Overdrive’s Pride & Polish truck beauty shows. Not only are the hours long at each event, but for every hour the event runs, another 10 are spent in pre-event planning, logistics, PR, and a myriad of other things as well as the post-event matters.
Bud, who has many years experience as a truck show promoter, is superb at what he does. But it’s not always a fun job.
The promoter of any event is the person who gets saddled with working out any complaints and criticisms attendees and competitors might have regardless of nature.
But a much more daunting task a promoter faces is selling the event to sponsors and exhibitors. You can’t put on a truck show just based on the monies you get by charging a piddly registration fee to the competitors entering, say, a truck beauty contest. No way.
There are facility fees, dumpster fees, port-a-potty fees, security fees, insurance fees, and God only knows what other fees required just to hold an event. Add in the costs of advertising, salaries for those helping with the organizing and running of the event, and other overhead costs we probably don’t even think about and the bill gets quite large in a hurry.
That money has to come from somewhere other than the competitors. It’s the promoter’s job to convince other businesses the event is worthy of their presence and support. Getting such sponsors is very tough nut to crack, especially today. And if you don’t have a track record behind you to prove your worth, the task of getting sponsors is even more daunting.
That’s exactly what Richie and ECLC have been facing. To their credit they have prevailed through it all thus far.
So this Saturday they get judged: judged by those who bring their custom rigs in to be part of the truck beauty show competition; judged by those of us coming to enjoy the camaraderie and festivities of the overall event; judged by those who come to display their products and services; and judged by the sponsors.
My vote is already cast. Whether or not the show is a sell-out, ECLC gets very high marks for how much they’ve accomplished thus far.
I can’t wait to see how all their efforts payoff when the gates open Saturday morning.
And one last thought: The next time you are at a truck show, think of all the effort promoters such as Farquhar and Acosta went through to make it happen…and then give that person a pat on the back. They deserve it.