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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Arnold Tijerina

Arnold Tijerina President & Corporate Storyteller

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Which Event Should I Attend This Fall?

I've been seeing a lot of posts lately about upcoming fall conferences and events. These posts are typically not altruistic. They're written by people with vested interests in specific events, whether that's because they're a speaker or they're the host. Now it's our turn.

For people interested in learning and are considering attending one of these events and aren't sure which to attend, I've created a graphic comparison of the three events specifically being held in October 2011 that may assist people in deciding which event to attend.

In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Dealer Communications who own and put on the Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition. Previously, I was worked for DrivingSales who put on the DrivingSales Executive Summit. While some of the attendance numbers may not be exact, they're not far off. These numbers were based on multiple sources that actually attended these events. With the exception of the Digital Dealer Conference numbers (which are accurate), I've given the other events the benefit of the doubt when presented with conflicting attendance reports and used the higher number. If I'm considerably wrong, please let me know and I'll happily correct it.

 

There are many claims made in some of these conferences marketing that are erroneous, whether that's on purpose or not. As should be plainly apparent, the Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition has everything that the other two events has and more. There is nothing unique about any of these other events.

Why go to a mini-Digital Dealer conference when you can go to the real thing? Nobody has more advanced sessions, more progressive dealers, more sessions to choose from (90), more networking/problem solving opportunities (1,000+ dealers and managers) or a fraction of the vendors to meet with (90+).

The fact of the matter is, you could combine every other dealership technology-centric event and they STILL will pale in comparison to what you can experience at just one Digital Dealer Conference. Because while these various other events contain elements of what you find at Digital Dealer, only Digital Dealer HAS IT ALL.

Every one of these lesser events is run by someone who used to attend, speak and/or exhibit at Digital Dealer. Very similar format as Digital Dealer and they get most of their speakers from the past Digital Dealer events. But while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and try as they might, they can't replica the winning formula for attendees that is Digital Dealer.

Digital Dealer isn't by far the best technology-centric event for dealers and managers because it's the biggest. It is the biggest because it is the BEST. There is a reason that these events that pop-up can't get any real traction...that none can even come close in dealership attendance to DD3, which was 300 dealers and managers FOUR YEARS AGO!

The reason Digital Dealer has more than tripled in attendance in three years while others are flat or fade away is because attendees keep coming back. This is what separates the growth of Digital Dealer from the others. And WHY do they keep coming back? Because they found Digital Dealer is worth spending three days away from the dealership. And they not only come back, they bring more people with them.

Don't waste valuable time out of your store(s) at copy-cat events. Come to Las Vegas for the REAL thing. The 11th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition. If you're like most attendees, you will be back...probably bringing others with you.

You can get more information and register by visiting our website. Hope to see you in Vegas! 

(This post is meant to be informational and the opinion of the author. The stats included in the info-graphic are as accurate as I could find and based not only on my personal knowledge but also reports from multiple attendees. The "rules" for blog posts within  the DS community have been followed. Seeing as this is an open forum and similar posts have been made by others, there should be no reason to remove this post. Being a former employee of DS, I should know.)

Jared Hamilton
We have always had a policy of not letting competitors call each other out by name and fight it out in our community. While dealers enjoy a freedom to say and do what they want on DrivingSales, we do our best to block out distracting vendor drama like this that dealers don’t need. This post certainly would be blocked if it was from a vendor, such as CRM A talking about CRM B. However, given that its about us, our dealer editors recommended it say up so the industry can see through it for themselves. I agree. Let this be a stance on the transparency that DrivingSales is about. Let this be proof that we let dealers run our community, not simply our own needs for profit. Let this demonstrate how confident we are of the value DSES provides to progressive dealers. DSES is an amazing event; unfortunately we don’t have room for everyone. It’s designed to be more intimate and created specifically for the most progressive dealers. At our current pace we will sell out of room in the next week. We don’t pretend to serve everyone, but for those we do serve we are the best. Digital Dealer provides good value, in different ways, to different dealers. Those who attend DD11 will largely be happy. Jim Ziegler’s event will be a home run, as evident by his track record. Hopefully you can make it to them all, if not, go where you will be best served. Register for DSES here: http://bit.ly/o3Uq6J Register for IBP here: http://bit.ly/ox4D6j Register for DD11 here: http://bit.ly/oOKHYt Most dealers have better things to do than deal with posts like this. Lets go sell some cars! Ill see you at the Bellagio.
Arnold Tijerina
I apologize if I came off strong. I wasn't trying to say your event was bad, simply trying to inform people what WE believe the differences between the events are. There is a lot going on "behind the scenes" that most people aren't aware of and we remain quiet. There have even been posts within this community that have made implications about Digital Dealer that are, in our opinion, attacking. You know this is an atypical post from me. I wasn't trying to offend anyone. If I did, I apologize.
Tom White Jr.
Here are my two cents: I can only comment on the two events I have personally attended - DSES and DD. Each have their place and neither can be broken down into the criteria that was rated above. Just because a conference grows does not necessarily mean it is better. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the folks behind both conferences and I don't think this post serves the dealer community in a beneficial way. As a dealer, my number one priority is learning. This particular post comes off as another company trying to sell me something. If you want me to pay money to attend your conference, educate me first, build a relationship with me, and then suggest I attend your conference. I could care less what is going on behind the scenes. I'm the customer. If I sold to my customers the way that this post is attempting to sell to me, my customers would punch me in the face (credit Hugh MacLeod for that little bit). Jared, I consider you a friend and appreciate all you do for the Dealer Community. Arnold, I consider you a friend and wish you would have approached this differently than you did. I agree with Jared. Let's use this forum as a mechanism for learning so we (the viewers) can go do what we do (sell cars)... Just sayin'
Arnold Tijerina
Fair enough, Tom.
Marc McGurren
I'm with Tom on this one as well. I have been to both conferences and have the upmost resect for both sides of the camp. Each are successful in their own right and Tom is exactly right. I just want to learn and be better than I am today. When I am selling cars - I sure as heck don't bad mouth my competition as it can paint me in a picture I don't want painted. I let the way I treat the customer do the talking and let them decide who they want to buy from. Arnold - I applause the passion - and I have nothing but good things to say about you and DD as I have been fortunate enough to attend two Digital Dealer's and enjoyed getting to know you at the last one. Unfortunately I think your passion took over and in turn, your approach came across accusatory and unprofessional. As long as my dealer will keep sending me - I will be attending as many conferences as I can so I can learn as much as I can, from the best people that I can, so I can be the best *me that I can. I hope nothing but the best for ANY and ALL conferences that benefit us as a dealer body. Nothing but love sir. Nothing but love.

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