Hard to believe it’s been three years since I wrote my first and only Fall Conference Season Preview. At the time I had just come on board with HookLogic Automotive and had been out of the conference loop for nearly three years. Since 2012 I have not missed a Digital Dealer Conference or NADA.
With Fall conference season now less than a week away, I’ve taken time to get my mind wrapped around the multitude of events and activities slated over the next month across three of the top automotive retail events: DD19, DSES, and JDPAAMR.
DD19 (Oct 5-7) #DD19
In April I wrote about how Digital Dealer made a splash in Tampa and showed strong signs of a momentum swing. Ever since DrivingSales introduced the Executive Summit in 2008, Digital Dealer attendance and popularity began facing challenges. Some would suggest that Digital Dealer hit rock bottom in Atlantic City in the Spring of 2014.
DD19 will be a telling follow-up to DD18 which I believe revived the industry’s largest collection of technology-focused providers. There will be more than 120 exhibitors for attending dealers to vet through in the first two days, plus with 100+ sessions and speakers and six day-long sessions (I think these are new), there is more content available then one can or would want to consume in a 3-day period.
How does one sort through all of these sessions to determine which ones to attend?
The sessions are distributed across 12 different categories so you could select two or three categories and hit one or two sessions within each. Just be sure you arrive knowing your top goals and objectives.
Keynote speakers this year include Grant Cardone, Scott Monty, and Famous Rhodes plus two different Keynote Panels.
DSES (Oct 18-20) #DSES
While I know many of the folks at the Executive Summit I have only attended the event once, but even then I did not participate in the breakout sessions. This year I will actually have an opportunity to be part of the breakout sessions, of which there are close to 50 topics spread across six different sessions over the 3-day summit.
Unlike at Digital Dealer where speakers are presenting to an audience in a conference room, the breakout sessions at DSES are more roundtable-like and interactive. Each session has a focus and dedicated moderators but the experience is meant to be collaborative rather than a lecture-style pitch or presentation.
The sessions are categorized as follows, the number in parenthesis representing the number of sessions in each respective category:
- Advanced Digital Marketing (10)
- Customer Experience and Marketing Strategy (17)
- Management and Operations (6)
- Sales Strategy and Process (8)
As you can see the bulk of them are around customer experience and marketing strategy.]
JDP AMR (Oct 20-22) #JDPAAMR
The J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable, like always showcases brings the OEMs together in the same room with Tier II entities, ad agencies, and tech firms. I have only attended once and I loved it. This year I will only be able to watch from afar.
Sponsors include drawbridge, xAd, MAXPOINT, and TURN as well as Spotify, Autobytel Direct, and CDK Global.
Which of these stand out for you? Here let me point them out: ABTL and CDK.
If you read my blog you would know that I have discussed Autobytel multiple times in the past and that the company has a place in my heart for more than one reason. I have also mentioned CDK a couple of times.
I think it is commendable that Autobytel is a sponsor this year and it foreshadows what is to come from the ABTL camp which to be clear was an industry originator and continues to be an innovator as demonstrated by ABTL’s recent acquisitions of AutoUSA and also Dealix.
Will We See One Another in Las Vegas this Season?
If you plan to be in Vegas for one, two, or all three of these events be sure to let me know. You can contact me on LinkedIn or here through my website.
Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Future Mobility & Connectivity Podcast, Ryan began working in the automotive industry in 2001, establishing his roots in online vehicle merchandising before expanding into digital marketing and now multi media for Automotive B2B. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn.