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So, I was out at NADA this past weekend in San Francisco. I hadn't been there in awhile... actually my last NADA was also San Francisco a few years back.
If you were there... what did you think?
Personally, I thought it was kind of boring. The dealer attendance looked to be OK, but I didn't see a lot of booths jam packed with dealers. Most of the dealers I noticed were walking around with that "is there anything here that is going to transform my business" look on their faces. Some new companies concentrating on social media and iphone apps, etc. but not sure that is the answer either.
What used to be ad agencies and marketing companies have been replaced by large software companies who have convinced the dealers their systems are going to change their world and do it all for them.
I used to go to NADA to network with other vendors to find ways to work together. This year I actually got kicked out of a booth because the guy said I wasn't a dealer and he wanted to "protect his products"... which by the way I first used for one my dealer clients back in 2004.
What are your thoughts?
We'd love for you to check out all the video and photos from the VinSolutions booth.
A great time was had by all. This was my first NADA and I was impressed. My background is not in the auto industry so to be able to see it up close and personal was an experience I can't wait to happen again. The other vendors were helpful and nice. The dealers were amazing. I had the chance to meet with others that I only talk to through Twitter and Facebook. I didn't find it boring at all but I was like a little kid at the circus for the first time.
I thought it was less splashy than five or six years ago - you could almost hear a pin drop in the main South Hall and it used to sound like a dyslexic carnival - but the energy and optimism of both dealers and vendors was a tremendous improvement over the last few years.
We had a great show and, unlike your experience, have found other vendors very interested in working together to deliver the best experience to their dealer clients. I think the big trend sweeping the vendor space at NADA was the horizontal push from all the leading software vendors - everybody wants to do multi-channel, multi-department marketing and CRM which is in the best interest of the dealership by delivering a more comprehensive, better integrated solution with fewer vendors and integration issues to manage.