Think of what your 100th birthday would be like…Probably a large cake(capable of holding 100 candles), your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren huddled around singing happy birthday. We would all more than likely envision a pretty low key gathering to celebrate such a huge milestone. I doubt however, any of us see ourselves living it up in New Orleans while we ring in our entrance to the century club, but that’s just what NADA is doing.
Turning 100 in the “Big Easy” is just the way the National Automobile Dealers Association rolls. So hopefully you are planning to attend one of the industry’s oldest and most prestigious events. If you are not planning on attending and are part of the auto industry, don’t worry, you still have time to make the necessary arrangements and head on down. For those that are going, whether a seasoned vet or a first timer here are a few things that will make the trip much easier and more informative.
Proper Planning Attending NADA is a commitment! You’re dedicating both time and resources, so it’s smart to set out a strategy for what exactly you hope to get out of it. Think about your goals for the dealership, and ask yourself:
Are there areas we’re lacking in?
Where can we make advances in the business?
What opportunities should we explore over the next year?
Take a look at the general NADA Schedule and see what interests you, and then dive into the workshops to see which ones make the most sense for you to attend. And you can use the myNADAplanner to help plan your time there.
Be Flexible but Execute Even though you’ve made a solid plan, leave room for flexibility. When you get there, don’t stick to the strategy just for the sake of sticking to it. If you’re hearing buzz about an interesting session or one turns out not to be as applicable as you thought, switch it up. The goal is to get the most bang for your buck, and sometimes that means making a new plan on the fly.
For the sessions you do attend:
Take good notes. You’re going to be hearing a lot of info, so it’s wise to jot down main points for reference. They’ll jog your memory when you get back from the show and will serve as a great tool for sharing what you’ve learned.
Ask questions! Take part in discussions and strike up conversations with those around you. You’ll gain a lot when you do.
In between sessions, make time to walk the exhibit hall. There’s nothing like a hands-on demo for helping you truly understand a product and how it will work for your shop. We’ll be at booth 4637. Stop by for an in-person look at:
Globaljig Super Rotax™
Easy to use LaserLock™
Chief Fume Extractor
A full line of Chief welders
Exhibitors are ready and willing to talk shop, so this is the perfect opportunity to see whether certain products are a fit for your dealership.
And while you’re at the show, don’t forget to tune into social and add your voice to the online discussion with #NADA2017.
Take Some Time for Yourself You are there for business first and foremost, but keeping a sharp mind is important to retaining the mass amount of info you will ingest. It’s important to relax, maybe explore and excite, which is exactly what you will find in the Lifestyle Experience portion of the expo. Located in Hall G and B2, this is where you go to take a break from the hustle bustle, before you go back and hit it hard again. From “Pop-Up” Saks Fifth Avenue stores, to chair massages and chakra balancing, you will find it all on the expo floor. Once the expo closes for the night, that doesn’t mean that the festivities are over. What would New Orleans be without a carnival, right? The NADA100 carnival takes place on 1/26 and features food, and bands like Foreigner and Cowboy Mouth, so grab some beads and head downtown!
Use What You Learned You did it! You came and you saw. You made smart choices about where to focus your energy and you took great notes. Now it’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. That might mean setting up a meeting or two to give your teams a download on what you learned. Or it could mean getting down to business.
You’ll have a lot of momentum from NADA. If you let your new found knowledge sit for too long, you’ll lose some of it. Take a moment to catch your breath, but then get to work implementing what you’ve learned and applying the techniques and practices you heard so much about.
When you start to see your company move forward because of the knowledge you gained, you’ll know that it was truly a worthwhile investment.
Make sure your shop is welding ready by checking out our In-shop Welding Installation Checklist.