9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
Blog posts, tweets, emails — we use all of those digital formats to educate ourselves and our customers. But even in this digital age, it’s important to remember the value of a face-to-face conversation.
One of the best places for auto dealers to get that personal experience is at conferences held by industry trade associations.
You can’t skate by just by joining an organization.
Make plans to attend one of our these top five auto industry conferences, and enjoy the benefits of being IRL [in real life].
1. NADA Show
NADA — the National Automobile Dealers Association — invites the executives of major car manufacturers to this yearly convention. These are the people making decisions about the next generation of automobiles, and if you attend the NADA Convention, you can meet with them in person.
No matter how experienced you are, you still have things to learn. At the NADA Show, you’ll have access to hundreds of exhibits and dozens of workshops. In fact, 9 Clouds' own Scott Meyer often speaks at NADA.
Many people avoid the exhibit hall at conferences, but you can learn a lot from those vendors. You’re not going to buy into each of their products, but you’ll get a sense of the industry climate. You can then pick and choose which things to bring back to your dealership.
It’s important to take advantage of the rare opportunity when you’ve got all of these resources in one room.
Like the name implies, this conference is focused on digital marketing for auto dealers. Few auto dealers are fully embracing the digital tools available, so this is a great expo to attend if you want to take the lead in your market.
If you’re the only auto dealership using digital marketing to its full potential, you’re going to be seen as an industry expert to your customers.
Some of the speakers at Digital Dealer (like Scott!) might be more progressive than you’re comfortable with now, but that’s what digital is all about: pushing boundaries. You don’t become an industry leader by sticking with the status quo.
Even if you’re ready to implement only a few digital changes, this is a great place to get inspiration for your own auto dealership.
This event is tailored to the decision makers at your dealership.
At the DrivingSales Executive Summit, owners and general managers meet with industry leaders to discuss the future of auto marketing. A lot of innovative ideas are generated at this summit.
If you're looking to network, this is the place to be. The format gives you a much better chance to meet other people in your industry and learn from their experiences.
Some people avoid conferences like this for fear of giving up their competitive edge, but in the long run, that attitude will limit your success.
Collaboration helps uncover new ideas, and it shouldn’t be avoided.
DrivingSales isn’t exclusive to auto dealers in the United States.
The Canadian Dealer Forum features the same progressive conversations as the American conference. That said, this conference does offer different speakers and would be worth your time even if you also visited the event down south.
This forum brings together thinkers from within the auto industry as well as outside. You can see Scott Meyer give a keynote address at the 2015 Canadian Dealer Forum here.
Customers won’t think twice about the conferences you attend, but the information and innovation you bring back to your auto dealership will definitely change your sales and marketing strategy. And that is something customers will notice.
Each of the conferences on this list offers different benefits. The Unfair Advantage Mastermind event is the most intimate.
You won’t find vendors in an exhibit hall here. Instead, the focus is on small-group brainstorming.
Each dealer works with an advisory council, sharing successes, challenges, and ideas with a group. There are far fewer pitches — and more collaboration — than any other automotive marketing event we’ve seen.
Achieve Business & Personal Growth
If you’re not taking time to attend at least one industry conference every year, you’re missing out on a lot of potential for your auto dealership.
The face-to-face conversations you have at these events lead to unexpected opportunities for your dealership — and yourself. The new ideas and new connections can give you fresh ideas to manage your career growth and learning.
If you're attending an upcoming auto marketing conference, be sure to let us know. 9 Clouds is often represented at these conferences, and we'd love to meet you!
An industry conference isn't the only way to improve your business, though. Visit our blog to read more about business management, specifically for auto dealerships.