Looking back, January 2020 seems like a lifetime ago. I had just attended my first United Motorcoach Association Motorcoach (UMA) Expo in the beautiful city of Nashville, Tennessee. As a newcomer to the industry, it was an eye-opening event to see and experience all the industry has to offer for both operators and vendors alike.
Motorcoach operators serve the world of tourists, students and commuters, and UMA has spent 50 years serving the market. UMA is the nation’s largest organization exclusively protecting and promoting the interests and welfare of privately-owned bus and motorcoach companies. UMA is comprised of more than 900 professional bus and motorcoach companies and more than 250 “associate” members – the suppliers, manufacturers, and travel partners who serve our dynamic industry.
I left the 2020 EXPO with a new appreciation and understanding of this close-knit industry and the crucial role they play in the travel infrastructure of North America. Of course, in the months following, we all experienced a change in the way we communicated, interacted, and conducted business. I found myself wondering what the future of UMA and other industry trade shows would look like- or if they were even a possibility in the not-so-distant future.
But as the year pushed on and conversations continued, UMA listened to their members’ feedback and were able hold an in-person conference event in 2021 – in sunny Orlando, Florida. A 50-year tradition continued for UMA, and they did not skip a beat – from Nashville in January 2020 to Orlando in April 2021 – UMA EXPO did not stop rolling.
Icomera joined UMA in Orlando from April 21st to April 25th for their annual EXPO, as UMA led the charge for the industry and brought people back to conference show floors. It was a post-pandemic reunion – reconnecting, reintroducing, and even meeting new operators for the first time.
Even though the attendance was a quarter of what UMA EXPO typically brings in, numbers did not matter – it was an amazing reunion and supporting the association and operators was our main goal in today’s post-pandemic world.
Icomera continued to reinforce our mission in the motorcoach industry: focus on the end-customer and their onboard needs to create an environment that will positively impact the confidence to travel, build loyalty, and deliver increased passenger satisfaction.
Each member of the Icomera team brought inspiration, energy, and positivity to the motorcoach industry as we gathered at the Orange County Convention Center: Ross Colvin, John Busskohl, Gabriel Lopez-Bernal, Adriana Hemzacek and me, Max Palmer.
Our flagship Icomera X³ Advanced Internet Gateway was on display, not only at our booth, but on-board the Prevost Demo Coach – highlighting our high-speed passenger Internet services and brand new GoView Onboard Entertainment and Information Platform.
The Expo was a reminder of the value and importance of coming together as an industry to connect, share ideas, and learn. As we enter the next generation of travel, Icomera will continue to support the motorcoach industry in improving the way passengers ride, relax, and connect.
Icomera is proud to be a member and support of the UMA and I am already looking forward to the quickly approaching 2022 UMA EXPO.