Every year, the automotive industry descends on one of four cities to meet about the state of the car business. They explore a huge jungle of booths, hear speakers from in and out of the industry, and meet with their manufacturers to discuss plans for the coming year.
There is so much crammed into the three-day expo that it’s often very challenging for dealers to know exactly how to spend their time. We’ve put together some recommendations based upon our understanding of the state of the industry as well as our experience with past shows. Here are the five things we believe every dealer should see while they’re there.
It’s easy to make time for potential GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush or Hollywood personality (and verifiable car lover) Jay Leno, but the presence of Beck Weathers on the keynote list caught our attention. The inspirational speaker has one of the most interesting stories of survival that anyone can hear at a conference.
Without spoiling too much, suffice to say that he’s had a movie made about his experience and another coming out later this year. He should not be alive today. The fact that he is and that he’s telling his story makes him the “must see” keynote out of all of them.
There are plenty of conferences in Las Vegas and Orlando – two of the four standard NADA venues – but very few are ever in the Bay area. Those who have never been to the city can find a smorgasbord of culture and western American history just walking the streets of the town, while those who are familiar can always find something new.
It’s not all nightlife, either. San Francisco boasts one of the most diverse set of restaurants of any city its size. Quality matters in the town known for discerning tastes. Then, there’s the wine. Proximity to Napa Valley makes wine tasting a fun diversion for those who enjoy the sip. Jazz lovers might want to plan on being at the Presidio Officers’ Club (if they can get in) to see a show.
Website Provider Booths
Once inspired by Weathers and relaxed by San Francisco entertainment, it’s time to get down to business. The majority of dealer websites today are far behind the technological curve. Nearly every major website provider in the industry will be present at the show and it’s time to take a look at what they have.
If you’re unfamiliar with the different types of platform, it would be advisable to research them before attending the show. Our recommendation is to go with a proper responsive website design such as the type the DealerOn offers. We may be biased, of course, since our own website is responsive.
As Many Workshops as Possible
It’s education time. No conference has the quantity or the quality of speakers that NADA brings to the table every year. It’s the opportunity that dealers need in order to hear about the latest and greatest in nearly every facet of the automotive industry at the tier 3 level.
Here’s a schedule for the event itself. Note that this is simply the first day; click the tabs to explore the other days of the event.
It’s easy to get caught up in all that’s going on at the convention, but there’s also no better opportunity to meet with non-competitive peers than at NADA. Exchange ideas. Network to make contact with them later. The industry is not in a bubble.
Since not everyone is comfortable with simply walking up to someone with a dealer’s badge and introducing themselves, plan ahead to set up introductions. Whether through your OEM representatives, vendors, or other dealers that you know, make an effort to establish contacts with the very people who are experiencing what you experience every day.
The event the one “can’t miss” conference of the year for car dealers. By planning properly and staying focused, dealers can get the most out of it. Here’s an infographic that further explores what’s happening next week:
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