Professional Community for Automotive Marketers, Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
The conference has become the place to be for anyone involved in automotive retail on the digital side – and that includes just about everybody today who interacts with dealerships.
I believe the conference is on pace for more than 1,200 dealership personnel, and probably close to 2,500 people total when adding vendors and exhibitors – and hangers on such as myself.
There are going to be 93 concurrent sessions over two and a half days. An attendee can hit 14 different sessions. That’s a lot of material you can implement at your dealerships the next several months.
Full disclosure here -- I worked at Dealer Communications for 15 months and helped plan three of the conferences so I know a little bit about the thinking that goes into how the sessions are picked. I do know the team there is focused on putting together sessions that are most helpful to dealers. (I have no financial relationship with Dealer Communications now nor will benefit from them in any way from writing this blog.)
Once in a while, I’ve heard the complaint that the sessions mostly are sales pitches.
I suppose there may be some truth to that once in a while. But honestly, that’s not a bad thing. There are a lot of talented experts working on the vendor side (in fact, many of the vendor presenters have had successful careers in a dealership). Any time a vendor presents, there is going to be some element of “pitching.” A logo on the slides, talking about their experience with the product – that doesn’t mean the presentation won’t have ideas you can take back to the store.
Frankly, I believe this will be the best Digital Dealer Conference to date. The agenda is strong and includes a lot of new stuff – an advanced track for those that think they are smarter than the rest of us and a track dedicated to fixed operations.
Personally, I’m going to pay close attention this week to the conversation surrounding four trends I believe will dominate our industry the next few years.
I’ll write in more detail about these trends over the next three days but for now, here's a short synopsis.
Just look at your phone and see how many apps you have downloaded. I’d rather click on an app than have to type a URL into a browser while I’m driving. The right app can be valuable to the customer while acting as another tool for the dealer to manage that relationship.
Finally, on a personal note, kudos to the team at Dealer Communications starting with Michael Roscoe who has set the vision, Greg Noonan and the sales team, and the operational folks, Joe and Liz Birch, Maria Burkel, Maureen Condon and Arnold Tijerina for putting together one of the premier and most important events in our industry.