To make the most of your time at the virtual event, become familiar with the online platform before the actual show. Take advantage of NADA’s Show Orientation sessions on February 4-5 to learn how each area works. By getting the lay of the land in advance, you’ll have the opportunity to determine if they are right for any of your other employees.
Since the show will be hosted during business hours, there’s a good chance that you will be attending the virtual event while juggling emails, phone calls and questions from customers. Identify the sessions that are of high priority for you and dedicate a portion of that time to being present.
The NADA convention includes more than 60 educational workshops and sessions covering a variety of topics relevant to your business. The advantage of being online is that you don’t have to miss out on a presentation, especially if they take place at the same time. They are all recorded so you can watch it on demand at your convenience.
In my last blog, I talked about the digitalization of dealership operations as a top trend this year. As you look for new solutions to address changing consumer preferences and drive more efficiency, check out virtual product demonstrations up close, directly from your browser. You can also schedule demos in advance, so there’s no time wasted waiting for the next session.
Engagement in a virtual environment can happen in a variety of ways. Use the live chat or drop a digital business card to start a conversation and schedule meetings online with exhibitors. Make an effort to network through the show’s receptions and happy hours. With games, prizes and other entertainment, take advantage of these opportunities to connect and share information.
Some of you may be accustomed to a virtual tradeshow by now. For others, it’s a new and unfamiliar format. In my experience, it’s just like anything else – it’s what you make of it. Just as consumers are changing their vehicle shopping preference, forcing dealers to move more of their sales process online, the automotive retail industry must adapt and evolve. Whatever the future looks like – in person, live or a combination of both – the key is to have systems and processes in place that will give you the most flexibility to pivot as the market demands.
In my next post, I’ll share my thoughts about why a modern solution can enable that and ways you can evaluate DMS suppliers during NADA.
Check out our virtual exhibit at NADA 2021.