The annual NADA convention (recently rebranded as the NADA Show) is the largest automotive dealer conference in existence, seeing more than 20,000 attendees every year. It’s an excellent conference for just about anything an attendee wants to accomplish. There are many educational sessions for dealers, and with hundreds of vendors present, they can touch base with their current vendors and learn their latest offerings, and explore new ones for solutions they’re seeking, or don’t even know exist. Technology changes frequently. I’m always discovering new and innovative solutions for dealers every time I attend a NADA Show.
But enough of that. By the end of the day, attendees are worn out from walking, learning, or both, and then some even more intimate business opportunities (and fun) show up. Namely, the networking events and parties.
This year, being no exception, is shaping up to be another NADA Show filled with vendors bringing first-class entertainment, receptions, and events to dealers. Keeping in mind that it’s still a little early (meaning that some vendors haven’t shared their plans), I can guarantee that you will have a multitude of options should you decide to venture out and capitalize on the entertainment (and most likely, the free food and adult beverages), and that it will be difficult to decide what to attend. Remember, although Vegas is relatively condensed, it still takes a bit of time to get from point A to point B, making it hard to do it all.
Before I start my preliminary rundown of events, I need to share that this is being written just about a month out of NADA. It is in no way comprehensive. For a real-time, comprehensive list of events/parties, visit this link at your pleasure sponsored by my friends at Dealer Inspire. As the NADA Show gets closer, this list will continue to fill up. I will be adding things to it as I learn about them, so bookmark it.
Now on to the early recommendations:
Thursday, March 22
The most alluring event here is the official NADA Welcome Reception sponsored by J.D. Power, being held at the Sunset Pool & Terrace at the Wynn. You’ll need a ticket, which you can buy when you register if you would like to attend. Here’s a handy link for you [LINK].
Friday, March 23
To start the night, there’s a super-cool “Party in the Sky” being held by AutoHook at the AirBar in the Stratosphere hotel. View Vegas from super high in the sky, and enjoy refreshments. If you’re interested, RSVP here [LINK].
This night will most likely be dominated by AutoBash: AutoAlert’s party at the House of Blues, featuring the iconic classic rock band 38 Special. These tickets will go fast – and you do need one to get in – so register here [LINK] or visit AutoAlert at booth #3792C. Be sure to mention that “Arnold” sent you. If they look at you funny, just keep asking different people. Eventually, someone will know who I am. Based on all of their other parties at NADA and other events, you don’t want to miss this one.
There is a mystery event on Friday, which I will eventually solve 😉 and you will be able to get more information through that link you bookmarked. The Warranty Group is bringing the band Chicago to Las Vegas for their guests. I don’t know what time or where, but I bet if you’re a dealer and you go to their booth, #1338N, they might let you know – and perhaps give you a ticket.
Saturday, March 24
The only “big” thing on the calendar at the moment is the Digital Air Strike VIP Client Appreciation Party, being held at Wayne Newton’s Casa de Shenandoah estate! Sounds pretty cool to me. To try to get an invite, sign up here, or visit them at booth #5484C and be really nice. Maybe they’ll let you in.
Don’t think that the only value the NADA Show can bring you is during its regular hours. After-hours events are perfect for networking with fellow dealers, starting relationships with vendors, and nurturing existing relationships. Keep an eye on this list of events and parties and you’ll have all of the information at your fingertips to know what and where you need to go to take advantage of those opportunities.
Learn a lot, explore the vendors and new technologies, but don’t forget to have a great time. Cheers!