Dealers: Sales Got You Down? Get Out of Town!

When the rowdy frat boys of Animal House fell upon hard times they needed something to take their minds off a bad situation. Road trip!

With J.D. Power reporting June SAAR to be the weakest first half since 2014, dealers need to rethink their second half. Get some fresh ideas, implement new concepts, network like mad, and work closer with your vendors. 

Here’s a list of events and conferences to consider (in order of upcoming dates) or you can visit and search CONFERENCE.

Rally, my dealer friends! Remember it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.

Women in Automotive – Sunday, July 9 – Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate. Jack Simmons will be the emcee along with Eliana Raggio from DealerOn. Between these two you won’t need a second cup of coffee! Agenda, speakers and workshops look well-developed and offer a large variety of topics. Prices are $595 for the full 3 days or $295 for any one day. Contact: 407-412-9988

Internet Sales 20 Group – Monday, July 10 – Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at Hyatt at the Bellevue in Philadelphia, PA. There’s a King of the Ring cash prize of $1000 that sounds fun, a Trending Now Tedx-style workshop and on Tuesday night, a hypnotist! $1045 conference fee. The conference is brought to you by Dealer Synergy. Contact: 856-546-2440

VinSolutions VinWorx User Summit – This annual event is Tuesday, July 11 – Wednesday, July 12, 2017 with optional days to meet with your Performance Manager at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Speakers include Mark O’Neil, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Cox Automotive; Mike Burgiss, V.P. Digital Retailing at Cox Automotive; Jim Roche, Sr. VP of Marketing, xTime; Tim Mueller, Google Automotive Retail Strategist; Brian and Glenn Pasch; Joe Webb; Bobbie Herron. There is no charge for this event but you have to have a VIN ID #. Contact:

Driving Sales Canadian Dealer Forum – Monday, July 17 – Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at Hyatt Regency, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Open Remarks begins Monday at 4pm. Tuesday is a full day of workshops. Ted Graham, head of Open Innovation at General Motors and author of, The Uber of Everything, keynotes. There is a range of registration prices, but a regular Dealer Executive is $499. Contact: 866-943-8371

TrueCar Dealer Summit Conference – Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at Wrigley Field, Chicago. Headed up by Brian Pasch, Ed French and Chip Perry this half-day event promotes best practices and optimized sales practices. There’s a tour of the stadium, prize giveaways including a chance to win two tickets to the Cubs vs. Cardinals game. Register by Friday, July 14th.  This summit will also be available in Washington D.C. in September and Dallas, TX in November. Specific dates and locations TBD. There is no cost to attend. Contact: 800-200-2000

DealerOn Event Series: Digital Strategy Summit (Chicago) – Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM CDT at Topgolf Wood Dale. Four presentations before you take off to the links: Kevin Lao, Google Expert; Greg Gifford, SEO Expert; Shaun Raines, PPC Expert; Michael DeVito, Website Wizard; Free food, free bar, free balls. Tickets are $99 with an early bird of $49 if you reserve before July 14. Contact: 877-543-4200

Industry Summit – “Invest In Yourself” brought to you by F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today (Bobit Business Media). Monday, September 11 – Thursday, September 14, 2017 at the Marriott Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center, Grapevine, Texas (north of Dallas). There’s a Think Tank, a Shark Tank and F&I Dealer 20 group plus get the latest training on compliancy. Early bird rate for Dealer Pass is $895 until August 11, 2017 (goes to $995 after that). Contact: 727-947-4027

Digital Dealer 23 Conference & Expo – Monday, September 18 – Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at the Paris Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV. The Granddaddy of Digital Conferences. Early Bird: $695 (Ends 8/4).  Contact:

Automotive News Marketing 360 – Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at Gotham Hall, New York, NY. Cadillac, Nissan and other brand marketing managers slated to speak. $325. Contact: or 313-446-0479

North American Commercial Vehicles Show – Monday, September 25 – Thursday, September 28, 2017 at Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA. If you are into big trucks (and who isn’t?) this massive inaugural international show boasts hundreds of exhibitors. Sponsored by the American Trucking Association. $99 to attend but if you know a vendor they may be able to get you in. Book your hotel through EventSphere to get show rates and event information. Hosted by Newcom Business Media. Contact: 416-510-5231

DrivingSales Executive Summit DSES 2017 – Sunday, October 22 – Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. Known as the progressive dealers’ conference this event has a Best Idea Contest that’s worth the price of admission. Early bird dealer pricing of $799 until July 31. Other pricing levels are available. Contact: 866-943-8371

2017 J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) – Tuesday, October 24 – Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at the Bellagio, Las Vegas. The headliner is Seth Dallaire, Vice President, Global Advertising Sales & Marketing, Amazon Media Group; other speakers include: Harry Hynekamp, GM, Customer Experience, Mercedes-Benz USA; Mark LaNeve, Vice President, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Services, Ford. Dealer Rate is $995 and requires a code. For $149 you can add a Surrender Night Club wrist band and there is an early morning workout session call POWERBurn available to the first 100 registrants. Contact:

Auto Finance Summit – Wednesday, October 25 – Friday, October 27, 2017 at Wynn Las Vegas. This is the 17th annual. Past participants list looks impressive. See here. Conference is managed by Royal Media Group which publishes Auto Finance News. Contact: 212-564-8972 Option 4

Automotive News Leading Women Conference – Thursday, November 2, 2017 at The Henry, Dearborn MI. Over 500 women attended last year’s event (lots of manufacturing companies participate). $295 is the early bird price until July 16. Contact: or 313-446-6041

Automotive Analytics & Attribution Summit – Wednesday, November 8 – Thursday, November 9, 2017 at Boca Resort and Club. This PCG Companies conference asks the age-old question, “what worked”? Branded as “first of its kind” the event is dedicated to online marketing analytics and attribution for the automotive industry. Much needed. Dealer early bird is $695 until August 31. Contact: 888-798-1195

Rockstar Auto Conference – Monday, November 13 – Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at The D Hotel, Las Vegas, NV. For $399 which includes your hotel and conference you also receive breakfast and lunch both days plus a party. You can even spread out the payment over 4 months. Deadline for this deal is July 15. Two executives of BDA Spanish are the conference founders. Contact: 269-775-0002

Used Car Week – This 5-day event is Monday, November 13 – Friday, November 17 at the Waldorf Astoria La Quinta Resort, La Quinta, CA. A conference that encompasses Pre-Owned Con, Auto Fin Con, Repo Con and the NAAA Convention. The agenda looks loaded with options including workshops, panels, receptions and parties. Scott Kelly, NASA astronaut is featured as the keynote. Costs are not listed on their site but you can complete their “keep me up to date” form on their home page. Produced by the Cherokee Media Group which publishes many magazines including Auto Remarketing. Contact: 800-608-7500

2017 Fixed Ops Magazine Conference & Expo – Monday, November 13 – Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at South Point Las Vegas. $395 early bird plus there are group discounts. Contact: 714-307-6020 or

ACLA AutoConference LA hosted by J.D. Power and NADA – Tuesday, November 28, 2017 at InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a network reception following. Welcome and opening remarks from Bob Smith, Executive Director, Greater LA Dealer Association; Mark Scarpelli, Chairman, NADA; Lex Kerssemakers, President/CEO, Volvo Car of North America; Tom Doll, President & CEO, Subaru of America. Single ticket is $395. Table of eight: $3500. Contact:

Women in Automotive – Sunday, December 10 – Monday, December 11. 10 December 2017 at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas. Early bird rate is $295 until Oct 15. Contact: 407-412-9988

©Molly Curry has worked in the automotive vendor industry for over thirty years and launched, a searchable vendor database for automotive retailers. You can reach her at, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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