I am attending both, so this is probably unfair for me to express an opinion since I attended both last year as well... However, that sort of thing never stopped me before, so why start now?
As much as I respect and admire Jared Hamilton, if I were forced to choose between the 3 days and 700+ automotive professionals at Digital Dealer and day and a half of less than 250 people at Driving Sales Executive Summit, I would not hesitate to choose the Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition... Digital Dealer is much more robust in scope, attendance, topics, best practices shared, presentations and networking opportunities that it is simply more bang for the buck if allowed to attend one and not the other...
I almost feel guilty posting this, but reality is what it is... Jared Hamilton does a heck of a job and maybe one day his event will eclipse Digital Dealer, but for right now and for the month of October 2010, Mike Rosco and Cliff Banks' 9th Digital Dealer Conference provides far more of what we go to conferences for, than the Driving Sales Executive Summit.
But... I have paid to register and am going to both, and if I thought Driving Sales Executive Summit was anything less than a first class meeting of the automotive minds, I would not take the time away from my team... And, DSES also happens to be immediately preceding the J. D. Power Automotive Internet Roundtable, so it is pretty convenient to those of us whose job roles virtually require us to attend the JDPAIR.
All three of these October events will deliver exceptional value to anyone in the car business who attends, participates and pays attention... I often wonder if having 3 relevant events virtually back to back makes things more convenient, or more difficult because it is 8 days out of the same calendar month to attend all 3, and so many people struggle with issues around being forced to pick one over the other two...
You may not get too much of a response from others, because nobody is eager to piss off either of the two conference promoters, and neither do I... But since I get this question on a verbal basis almost daily, and my response is consistent, I feel obligated to share my actual opinion.
I have no doubt both of these sales conferences are important, but some of us do not have the luxury of going to both and we have to make a decision. This was no attempt to put anyone in a akward situation, but many people value your opinion and I hoped you could shed some light on what many people are having to do...choose which one to go to because BOTH are filled with priceless info and networking opportunities.
Oh, by the way, just a suggestion next year promoters....spread the dates out so more of us can take advantage of all the sales conferences.
Thanks again for your feedback.
I'd choose the one that fed me more. If you're starting out and need the basics go to Digital Dealer 9. If you've been doing a good job, built a successful team to address all eCommerce/Internet based items, have been increasing sales, branding, started in or considering starting in social media and want to know the next steps, only go to DrivingSales Executive Summit.
Both have more that good levels of networking and I'd say getting to be around REAL pioneers and successful people OUTSIDE of the automotive space helps immensely, if you happen to think that way. We all know most dealers fight tooth and nail against change so it may not be everyone's cup of tea.
The two events help different dealers, not the same. If you are just getting to understand, let's say, SEO and the benefits of displayed versus framed-in inventory , DrivingSales is not for you. If you've had an "Internet Department" for a while, sell a good percentage of the store's units and gross nicely, ignore the 700+ people and get what you need: value for your money.
In full disclosure, IM@CS will be attending both and YES Ralph, you are invited to #imacswebpoker...
I haven't participated in a decent Poker Game in so long, this may the event I am most looking forward to at #DD9 and/or #DSES... Other than the ADM Member Reception on the evening of 10/12 at the Mirage ADP Social Media Reputation Management Suite!
Welcome to Automotive Digital Marketing
Please use the "Sign Up" link above to complete your registration form and become a member of the industry's leading Automotive Marketing and Internet Sales Professional Community. ADM members have access to resources, connections and private events that provide them with a competitive advantage.