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Digital Dealer 21 Wrap-Up – DealerSocket

August 16, 2016

After spending a few days in the 100+ degree, dry heat of Las Vegas, I’ve had some time to cool off and reflect on the action-packed digital event.

First off, I was pleased that our very own Aaron Schinke and Eric Giroux had the opportunity to kick off the conference with a 9 a.m. workshop on Monday. Their insights into digital retailing, specifically digital marketing, seemed to be very well received. If you missed “The Down and Dirty of Digital Retail,” don’t worry; they will be presenting this topic again at our upcoming customer conference in October.

This Digital Dealer felt like it had a bit of a different vibe than in previous years. Perhaps it was because it was August rather than October or maybe because it was at the MGM Grand instead of the Mirage. I was curious about attendance, and after asking around, I heard that about 1,250 dealers attended, not including vendors. Based on casual conversation I overheard at the booth and through (accidental) eavesdropping, it seemed that dealers in attendance were looking for new technology.

DealerSocket saw a steady stream of visitors throughout the event. Our booth was packed even before the expo hall officially opened Monday morning. Dealers were anxious to talk to vendors early on so that they could analyze and compare all the different offerings before making a final decision. And yes, the Be Back bus rolled on through Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

It was clear that digital retail was all the buzz. Many breakout sessions covered digital retail or digital storefront specifically, with each presenter sharing interesting theories and approaches. I’m not certain, though, the message resonated with dealers. And, spoiler alert: Our bet for the next trending topic in 2017 is telematics in fixed operations.

Overall, Team DealerSocket nailed another expo. We rocked our special edition Team USA “We Are Automotive” tees — our Canadian rep too. We streamed Olympic coverage and witnessed the USA dominate women’s artistic gymnastics. We had fun chewing the fat with customers and talking everything CRM, inventory management, and websites.

I enjoyed meeting a lot of new people: dealers, vendors, and team members. I can’t wait for the next major industry event, which just so happens to be our very own DealerSocket User Summit taking place October 3–5 in San Antonio, Texas. Hope to see “y’all” there!