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What would you like to see at a user conference?

Discussion in 'Conferences, Trade Shows, and Events' started by Ilana, May 11, 2017.

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  1. Ilana

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    Hi DR Community,

    I realize how many user conferences there are in the automotive space, so I'm wondering:

    Do you find them repetitive or helpful?
    What would you like to see at conferences that you haven't yet seen?
    What conference is your ultimate favorite?
    What topics are most interesting for breakout sessions?

    I'm really curious about this and appreciate all responses!

    Thank you,

    Ilana
     
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  3. Jeff Kershner

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    Do you find them repetitive or helpful?

    Mostly repetitive anymore - but I've been in the business for a long time. I recommend allowing some time in between. But then again, it's always great to network during the conferences. It's a great opportunity to build relationships with other dealers and vendors.

    What would you like to see at conferences that you haven't yet seen?
    Not sure what I have not seen... within reason ;-)

    What conference is your ultimate favorite?
    I've always been a fan of DrivingSales Presidents Club. The last one was the only one I've ever missed.

    What topics are most interesting for breakout sessions?
    That depends on your goals. Right now, even though we've been talking about it for a LONG time here on DealerRefresh, yet it's just now becoming the buzzword - Attribution. Also - Event Tracking across your dealership's digital real-estate so you know exactly what's happening on your SEP, VDP, Specials and Service pages - @brianpasch@brianpasch has done a good job at pushing this message across the dealer industry.
     
  4. Ilana

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    Thanks @Jeff Kershner@Jeff Kershner - wondering how to talk about attribution and event tracking without it being too technical - got to grab visitors attention somehow!
     
  5. Rick Buffkin

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    Here's one of my main issues with conferences, webinars and training in general now-a-days!! It's like you have a single room classroom and in this classroom you have third graders, high school students and college grads in the same classroom trying to learn at the same pace. It simply doesn't work. Most of the conferences are talking about the same things thats been regurgitated ten times over with a small twist to it and after the 3rd or 4th time, its just repetitive.

    If you want to grab the right visitors attention with events and attribution, build out some tags in google tag manager for event tracking. Not all of them but a few tags and include those in your presentation and show people how they were built. Built out a dashboard for Google analytics that pulls in those example events and share linking to the dashboard so the dealer or Inet Mgr can apply the dashboard in their own GA accounts. And then show them how to connect the dots between attribution and events!!! That's how you will grab ppl's attention!!

    Do you find them repetitive or helpful?
    Extremely repetitive!!!!

    What would you like to see at conferences that you haven't yet seen?
    Technical sessions!!! They simply don't exist!!!

    What conference is your ultimate favorite?
    Driving Sales. Pretty much everything else is product pitching!! There's as many vendors as there are Dealers there! Actually, dealers maybe out numbered at some of them.

    What topics are most interesting for breakout sessions?
    As @Jeff Kershner@Jeff Kershner stated. It depends on your goals!!! For me, I try and attend the most technical sessions offered!!
     
  6. BenAdler

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    I just came back from the NHADA conference last week... The session material was quite basic.

    (note: I have limited experiences at conferences)

    I think it would be neat if there was some type of hands-on activity. Say, instead of telling people about the importance of video, perhaps have them record an actual video and critique it. Or how to understand tracking in GA and literally go through all the steps.

    Perhaps part of the problem is that the sessions aren't focused enough.
     
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  7. yagoparamo

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    Many conferences have boasted the "no pitch sessions" and when I'm going to buy something I want the opposite,

    give me your best pitch, not within closed doors, but open for the public to hear.

    Your pitch, the approach your company takes and how it does things is what you are about. behind closed doors people can say the most outrageous things and claims (sometimes it even happens in a forum!). I would like for a company to show me their best and prove it. When you have 100 people watching the game is totally different.
     
  8. Ilana

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    Thanks for the thorough response.. will consider!
     
  9. Ilana

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    Really? I feel like most dealers would not be happy getting pitched in every session at conferences. Interesting approach. I'd be happy to pitch you and show you AutoLeadStar's best.. haha! :)
     
  10. reverson

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    I agree with your underlying premise but I would want that type of conference to be free. I'm paying to learn not be pitched.
     
  11. yagoparamo

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    @Ilana@Ilana

    If a dealer is going aimlessly to classes, hearing a traditional pitch will be a downer. If a dealer has a purpose for the show, lets say finding a new CRM system, wouldn't he want to hear what his 2 last candidates have to say to a large audience (hence being fact checked for the dealer by a group of peers?). And to that point, In would love to hear about AutoLeadStar... but with 40 other people in the room.

    @reverson@reverson

    Oh man, where do I start...

    If you want to learn things like marketing, SEO, etc go to conferences like http://martechconf.com or https://moz.com/mozcon#register (there are many others). They are quite more expensive than automotive conferences, ridiculously more intensive (25 minute classes one after another), lots pf panels, and lots of people telling you how they do things at their company.

    If you want to learn how to use a CRM, F&I, etc a 50 minute class is not going to help you other than to learn a trick or two (which is fine too).

    I don't know how other companies work but in my company we implement in our daily operations (products and services that we offer) the absolute latest that we discover or figure out. So when I see technology companies from other industries "pitch", the good ones show their latest findings.

    When you go to a class to implement the "free" things, you are getting the short end of the stick, by very far. Have you ever hear how hard it is to take things from a conference then implement them at the dealership? One reason is... we all know the reason, but another is that free ideas are usually very costly on implementation and self production. The easy ideas are the ones that you truly find a vendor that fits in a place were money can be made/saved then you work with them to implement with the vendor doing the heavy lifting. If each conference brings one success story like this, your dealer will continue to grow exponentially.

    Don't think for a second that this is a Cinderella story, even though I'm a vendor to you I have LOTS of vendors myself, I want to know from them how/when/what is that they do, how that is better/faster/bigger than everything else is out there and how can we implement/use/squeeze the most out of it.

    I think I've sold over 200 websites myself; every time dealers ask us to show them some of our sites and we show them the best looking ones we have at the time. Then dealers say things like "I like that one" or "I like this 'feature'". Very rarely dealers say: Here are my metrics, here is my site, here is my performance. Tell me how you would improve my numbers and give me a timeline to do so. A big problem in our industry is that in some cases dealers don't even know what metrics they should ask for, I don't blame them, it is too much. But vendors continue to be forced to talk about whatever side deal they have found outside their system so it doesn't look like a sales pitch while what I would like to see if I was buying a website is a system that measures my business and someone explaining that in PUBLIC.

    A sales pitch is a performance pitch, it is what determines the implementation and the value of every company. But only if it is done in public.
     
    #10 yagoparamo, May 18, 2017
    Last edited: May 19, 2017

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