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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Jared Hamilton

Jared Hamilton Founder - CEO

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Its the morning of Day 2 of the convention, I actually begin my next workshop in just a few minutes but wanted to update everyone on how the first day was...  BUSY!

The day flew by, Bart and I started the day wandering the floor with Rafi Hamid and saying hello to friends.  The big buzz of the morning was that JM Solutions sold off AAX and affiliated companies .  I dont know the details of the transaction, but rumor had it the JM employees found out on the way here.  The booths are seperate, but there is a sign up notifying people of the purchase.

Another interesting note, the vAuto booth and First Look booth are all of 10 feet away from each other on the floor.  Its funny standing at the vAuto booth listening to First Look Demoing their pricing tool.  Market based pricing is hot and your store needs to be invovled. If you have experience with either (or a competitor's product) lets us know your review of them in the Vendor Rating System.  Note: this category is not live yet, it is accepting reveiws but we have not contacted all the vendors yet to let them know they are being reveiwed.  It will open up late next week.

There was some discussion about the recent partnering of Dealer.com and AutoTrader.ca (no this is not Autotrader.com... completly different company.)  AutoTrader.ca gave Dealer.com $35 million for a 20% stake in the company.  The big news here is the deal gives Dealer.com access to the 5,000 dealers that AutoTrader.ca serves in Canada...  Interesting.  Those guys at Dealer.com just announced a new mobile platform for dealers yesterday too. They have some great momenitum and have incredible reviews in the vendor ratings system... Clearly they have good things going their way.

I spoke for the first time at the Nada convention.  (Ive participated in the Digital Dealer Conferences many times)  I had a good time speaking and had lots of questions from dealers about the topic.  (I spoke on using social technologies to brand your dealership)

The evening was fun filled, as usual.  I spent some time in the hospitality suite at OneCommand, I had dinner with Ralph Paglia, Phil Zillinger, Jody Devere and the team from sister technologies and everycarlisted.com.  Its was a good dinner, good conversation and met some great new people.  Im excited to see a demo of the sister technologies video tool for dealers, it sounds really cool.

Lastly I shook hands with some friends at Cobalt in their suite then headed over to another hotel and ran into some execs from Izmo.  Izmo has always been one of the most innovative companies in the industry and I spent some time with Dennis Colome (a long time friend) along with Sydney and Mariam.  Sydney is the creator of Add.on.Auto, which Izmo purchased and ramping up.  Its a really cool tool to help dealership sell accessories.  With sales of vehicles down so much, we have to maximize profits any which way we can... I personally belive fixed ops and accessory opportunities are where the money is at today.  Mariam was great to talk to, I especially appreciated her view because she comes from outside the industry with a fresh perspecitve.  She is new at Izmo but I am convinced she is  taking her outside perspective and will apply it in killer ways... expect some coll stuff coming from Izmo under her marketing watch.  She and Sydney both have good things going on.

All in all, my feet hurt (as usual at the convention) but I saw some good old friends that I hadnt seen in a while and met some impressive new folks.  There are some brilliant people inside our industry that never cease to amaze me. 

Jay Campbell
Thanks for the info Jared. Good to hear. I wish I was there but glad I don't have the sore feet. I feel your pain literally and figuratively. What kind of dealer turnout is there? I've heard mixed reviews.
Jared Hamilton
I think the dealer turn out is very low, however some booths are always busy. Ive passed by the dealersocket booth a couple times and it always seems packed... so I would say traffic is down lots, but certain vendors have made themselves destinations and are busy regardless. Its good to see. Those that are hear are for sure looking for solutions. I met the head of the Nada equivalent from Southern France. (I was stoked because I'm fluent in french since I lived there for a couple years) There are also some others here from out of the country.... interesting to hear their perspective on business. Ill do an update for today, tomorrow in the morning. For now my feet are killing me, its 12:45 am and I speak again at 830 ...
Matt Watson
I talked to a vendor at one of the entrances. They decided to do a little test and tracked about 100 people that entered the show. They told me 1 in 14 was a dealer.
David Book
Hi Jared... thanks for the updates. My partner Steve has called me a few times from NO but your blog posts are much more fun to read - laughs. Matt, great info. A few years ago at MacWorld (a tech-dork convention in San Francisco) a serious and detailed poll was conducted and the results were surprising. It was assumed that most visitors were consumers and because of this investing in a "consumer centric" booth made sense. But, as it turned out, an astonishing 79% of all visitors were either vendors themselves or directly related to vendors. I wouldn't be surprised if less than 10% of NADA visitors were dealers. It would be interesting to learn how many visitors are from dealerships (work at a dealer). There are lots of dealers that don't go but instead send their GM's and others. For many vendors, this is OK. Promoting your wares to dealership folks is sometimes equally as effective as getting to the dealer him/herself, sometimes better ;-)
Jared Hamilton
Matt - 1-14 was a dealer? What is normal. I think there is no question that it is really light on the dealer count, I just wonder what the ratio usually is? Ill ask the Nada folks in the speaker ready room this am. I plan to come by the vin solutions booth this afternoon. Will you be there? - hope so, that why Im coming by... David Ill do an update on yesterday as soon as I can, just need to head out at the moment. Give me a few hours. Ill give you a hint, yesterday was equally as productive during the day, but MUCH more wild at night. Last night was some premium events! I spoke with steve, he came to my workshop and we spoke for a bit. Great guy! We will all connect later this week once home. Today is promising to be another whirlwind. We're missing you guys too bad everyone couldn't be here.

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