Last week, I had the privilege of attending the 5thannual Innovative Dealer Summit. I’m always happy to assist in educating dealers and being a part of events that encourage it. I had never attended this event and looked forward to participating in the only event of this size organized by a state auto dealers association. The event itself was held in a super-cool venue – Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Being an avid sports enthusiast and athlete myself, this was an especially fun treat for me and I only got lost inside the stadium once!
First and foremost, I applaud Tim Jackson and the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association for a remarkable event. It rivaled that of some of the larger automotive conferences. The quality of attendees was great as the audience was full of high-level dealership and group executives. With over 45 speakers, the event offered Colorado dealers a wide variety of topics that they could learn about and take back to their dealerships with actionable items to increase revenue.
I’m fortunate that J&L Marketing chose to be a sponsor for this event and that I had the opportunity to represent my company as a speaker. During my session, “How to Make Sure Your DMS Data Doesn’t End Up In the Wrong Hands,” I saw that many dealers are interested in the growing topic of data security. This serious concern has been coming to the forefront of public discussion and will no doubt impact our industry. Educating dealers on the importance of proactively vetting their vendors and ensuring they know what data their vendors need, what they are getting and how they are using it was not only professionally satisfying, but something I believe every dealer needs to be aware of. Data security, however, is not limited to external partners. Dealers need to realize that data security starts internally and processes must be examined and introduced that will protect customer data.
The J&L Marketing booth attracted dealers interested in learning more about what our company does and how we use big data to create extremely targeted marketing campaigns. In addition, dealers appreciated the fact that we are data security advocates. CBT News was in attendance covering the whole event and I was flattered that they asked to interview me on the topic of data security in the automotive industry.
Because the CADA also produces the Denver Auto Show, I was fortunate to be able to attend the Charity Preview Party as well. The privilege of networking while viewing the latest and greatest cars from every manufacturer without fighting 50 people to see a vehicle was extremely satisfying.
As a bonus, at the Charity Preview party, I got to be in the presence of Broncos football legend John Elway! I also learned from networking with the vendors that data security is becoming a frustrating topic for most of them. Vendors are struggling with proving to their dealers that they can protect their data. Watching the camaraderie between competing companies was nice as well. Everyone had an intense vision to help the industry grow as a whole.
It was great to be part of this high-quality, convenient and accessible event that brought together dealers who are eager and willing to grow. Kudos to the Colorado Auto Dealers Association for being proactive enough to provide a venue where their dealers can gain the knowledge they need to succeed.
Thanks again to Tim Jackson and the Colorado Auto Dealers Association, and I look forward to being a part of next year’s event.