Here I am at the National Automobile Dealers Association, yesterday was the first day of the conference. Registration opened at 10am and sessions didn’t start until around noon. I got to connect with a lot of people I hadn’t seen in awhile. It seemed like yesterday was just kind of a “catching up” day for vendors without booths while others were getting booths ready for today.
Today is the “real” kick-off in that the exhibit hall opens and the mass scramble for dealers’ attention begins. There will be more iPads given away in the next few days than I think the Apple store stocks. I’m looking forward to visiting and plan to take a lot of pictures.
It’s a big weekend here. On top of the convention, there is a UFC fight tonight (UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit) and the SuperBowl. I think there are 37 Super Bowl parties tomorrow.
As a prologue, pre-NADA events have been great. I got to catch up with the VinSolutions
team rockstars, hang out with Jeff Collins of Peters Chevrolet CJD, Dan Moore of SmartWebConcepts, Rob Fontano of 3BirdsMarketing. Ended up in a suite which, unbeknownst to me, eventually turned into a reception suite for Car-mercial (part of the DMSC) then transitioned to a fabulous dinner at Il Mulino courtesy of Scott Falcone (super smart and VERY passionate guy) and PrestoReviews, then on to the VinSolutions party afterwards.
Monday morning saw many in-real-life meetings with Twitter friends, industry friends and even some vendors I work with who I had never met, like Mike Fitzpatrick of DealerTrend. Ran into Grant Cardone. Caught Todd Smith (CEO of ActivEngage) session. He’s crazy brilliant. People were asking him questions well into the next session.
Eventually it was off to the Mandalay Bay for some non-conference, non-drinking, non… well, you get the point.. a break. Went to the weigh-ins for UFC 143 and then saw Joe Rogan doing stand-up. Met a TON of fighters (way cool) then called it an early night at 1am (yes, people, that’s an early night at ANY automotive convention but especially NADA).
Getting ready to begin Day 2 of NADA with coverage of the exhibit hall. It may, or may not, be live in the morning but it will be live eventually. Thanks for reading!