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I know. It’s a little corny. Nobody can really “become a superhero”, right? In thinking about the annual migration to Vegas that dealers with a desire to learn inevitably make, I remembered an image of Jared Hamilton that just kind of stuck in my head. If you’ve been a member of this community or friends with him on social networks, this image was his avatar for so long it’s instantly recognizable. So, just for a little fun, I thought I’d see if I could replicate it… well, just because.
Having attended 2 of the 4 DrivingSales Executive Summits, I’m excited to get the opportunity to attend again this year. I was present for both the first and second events and I can tell you that they were both phenomenal. I was actually employed by DrivingSales during the second one so I was able to get an intimate and unique perspective into the organization of the event.
Jared’s ability to identify and secure non-industry experts of the quality that he has in the past is unique and, unless I’m mistaken, an industry first. The fact that attendees have the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest in their respective fields was both refreshing and well received by everyone.
While the event was packed with education, the sessions were so great that time just flew by. I can’t remember one time in which I looked at my watch to see how much time I had left before a break. Being a social media “guy”, I was very involved in live tweeting content from the sessions and I never had to wait long for that next 140-character sound bite. In fact, at times it seemed as if I was more of a court reporter creating session transcripts. Yes, the content was that good.
The inaugural DrivingSales Executive Summit (2009) featured keynote speakers that included social media expert and best-selling author Chris Brogan, social media and online marketing expert Aaron Strout and Will Travis who designed legendary ad campaigns for Scion. This was both an entertaining and powerful educational opportunity to learn from non-industry experts.
The second DrivingSales Executive Summit (2010) brought the vast knowledge base of Scott Monty, the social media visionary at Ford Motor Company, along with Dan Zarella, an author and award-winning social search and viral scientist in addition to renowned social media strategist and blogger, Jeremiah Owyang.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the third DrivingSales Executive Summit (2011) and I was disappointed to miss outstanding keynote speakers including the explosive Gary Vaynerchuk, as well as two more exciting people in author, consultant and social media strategist Jason Falls, and the return of one of the most popular speakers from the first DSES, Aaron Strout.
I was also a no-show at the 4th DrivingSales Executive Summit (2012) where I missed the brilliance of Oakland A’s General Manager, Billy Beane, wow the crowd. They weren’t allowed to live stream it contractually but just watching the Twitter feed (#DSES) was enough to know that his keynote was powerful. If that weren’t enough, he was joined by SEO superstar Rand Fishkin in addition to two more keynotes by both best-selling author and speaker Scott Stratten and Department head of MINI marketing, Tom Salkowsky. As icing on the cake, the conference saw sessions by both Facebook and Google who were represented by Facebook’s Head of Automotive, Doug Frisbie, and Dealer Strategist for Google’s Auto Industry Development Team, Kate Balingit.
This year’s event is sure to be bigger and better than ever. I couldn’t do it justice without doubling the length of this article so keep an eye out for my next article about the 2013 DrivingSales Executive Summit.
…to be continued