Three Things I Learned as a First Timer at Digital Dealer 18

As we were making our 10 hour drive home from Tampa to Charlotte yesterday, I was trying to condense all of my experiences and thoughts concerning DD18 into a few succinct words.

It seemed impossible.

So, this morning as I drank my coffee and tried to disseminate all of the information, I came up with a few helpful tips as a first time participant at a Digital Dealer conference.

Take time to see the presentations. I was lucky to get away and see two presentations. The first was David Kain and Todd Smith discussing digital wizardry. Not only was the information spot on--especially when discussing the importance of customer relations and controlling the call-- these two were dynamic, intelligent, and wonderful speakers.                

The next presentation I was able to attend was Matthew Belk. Not only did Matthew take us back to the fundamentals of lead response, but he did it in a humorous, interesting, and engaging way. Throughout his presentation, he encouraged audience questions and personalized his information to the needs of the participants. These two were my favorites of the week.

Bring more than what you think you need.

 Everything.

 Seriously.

Bring more giveaways, more materials, more business cards. I was amazed at the number of people present, and everyone wanted to stop, talk, discuss the business, and take some giveaways. I met dealers, Fixed Ops Managers, BDC Managers, Internet Managers, GMs, GSMs…..I think just about everyone from the dealership hierarchy was there--it was an opportunity to gain insight from every aspect of the dealership.

The networking was unbelievable. I have only been in this business for a little over a year. I met more people--more make it happen, industry leaders--than I ever could have imagined. People that seem intangible were very much present, welcoming, and ready to share their knowledge. These connections are invaluable, I learned things to put into play immediately. I absolutely loved it.

I look forward to continuing this education into the world of the auto industry. It is so much more complex than ever imagined, and I am ready to take on the challenge.