When it comes to automotive industry events, 90% of them are either boring, recirculated information or complete and total pitch festivals.
Fortunately, Digital Dealer 18 in Tampa, Florida was an exciting event filled with impactful speaker sessions.
I have spoken at three Digital Dealer conferences in the past few years and each one has been a different experience. This year our company decided to purchase a booth and we wondered if we would have the traction and visibility that we had hoped.
Since it was our first time getting a booth, we opted for a 10 x 10 and didn’t do many extras or upgrades. When we first arrived we saw so many larger vendors with gigantic signs and “booth babes” and even a Lamborghini displayed at one.
Our first instinct was the feeling that we didn’t go big enough, and we were honestly frightened that we would not get any traffic. Again, fortunately, we were surprised by the results.
The entire time we were at Digital Dealer 18 we experienced a steady stream of dealers visiting our booth to ask us questions and for live demonstrations of our product. It was the best investment we have ever made in a conference event.
During the breakout sessions my colleagues and I had the opportunity to sit in and listen to presentations from some of the top speakers in the industry.
Following the event we have had multiple sales as a result of our booth, but what seems even more valuable, were the relationships that we built while we were there. New friendships were formed, new business partnerships came to light, and as always it was great to reconnect with old friends.
If I could give one word of advice to dealerships who are planning their conference budget I would tell them that Digital Dealer is the one event you cannot afford to miss.
If I were giving advice to a young company that is looking for the best possible exposure, I will tell you without question this is the best return on investment you will ever experience from an automotive industry conference. On top of that, Ceren Islidak and Melissa Greene from the Digital Dealer team answered all of our questions and really helped us get the most out of the event.
One final thing, the highlight of my Digital Dealer 18 experience was having the honor of sharing the stage with Peter Leto from Google and Ricky Lopez from David Maus Toyota as we worked to help dealers better understand the importance of marketing to the Latino community. Our keynote/panel was moderated by none other than David Villa from Auto Dealer Live and it was an outstanding way to cap off an outstanding event.
We have already reserved our booth for Digital Dealer 19 and we are looking forward to another amazing experience.