President Bush and President Clinton both spoke today as part of the “main event” for the convention. Personally I was unable to attend, which was the only disappointment for me this entire convention. From what I heard President HW Bush was hilarious. President Clinton then got up and said something to the effect of, “I couldn’t get away telling the jokes he can. Could you imagine if I said some of the things he did??” Meaning Bush must have said something good… and I missed it.
I didn’t realize how good of a relationship these two prior presidents have, I guess they work together quite a bit. It’s a rather elite club, to be one of 44 men in history to hold the post of “The worlds most powerful person.” It’s also a good example to those of us in the car business about sportsmanship. As President Bush said about President Clinton, “He beat me like a drum, but we can still be good friends.”
Other than the Presidents speaking, and all the security buzzing around outside the convention hall (including the bomb sniffing dogs,) it was quite a regular convention day. I was surprised with my workshop attendance. I spoke at 8:30 am and I was not expecting many people to show after a long night of partying. However, that was not the case and the audience was very engaged with lots of questions. I was very busy this day with on and off site meetings, most very productive but I wont bore you with the details other than to say I did spent time talking with Phil Zillinger, Jim Zigler and Gary May, some loyal DrivingSales community members.
Bart and I had a more dinner meetings and then later met back up with Gilbert Chaves, Joe Webb and Kim Clouse. Joe has written another funny script about internet sales and wanted me to play a part in it. We were all laughing and having a good time as we filmed. They are going to edit and use it at their digital dealer presentation then we will post it to DrivingSales. It features Ralph Paglia, Kim Clouse and myself; Ill let Joe tell you more details. Until then you will have to wait in suspense for my Oscar winning performance!
The final day was SLOW, most people had gone home and the vendors were packing up. Despite that, I had some very productvie meetings. Overall I would say those that didnt attend the convention this year missed out on some great opportuities. It was certainly less crowded, vendors were willing to bargan, there was a solid social and networking atmosphere. In all those that came were there for a reason, I just hope we all have a better economic climate next year in Orlando to attract more dealers. This was a benificial show, despite the small crowd, Id love to hear your thoughts or feelings, especially if they are different than mine. More on the convention soon... we have a few things we purposely left out.