You know that your attendance at the NADA Convention & Expo is critical to your career and growth in the industry. In a few simple steps we’ll show you how to demonstrate the benefits of the Convention in order for you to get approval to attend.
|Research. Look through the schedule, workshop sessions and exhibitor listings. Be sure to stress the number of educational opportunities (188 workshops), and innovative products and services (500-plus exhibitors). |
|Calculate the expenses. Add up the registration, hotel, flight, food and local travel. But factor in all the discounts—such as early bird registration, low-cost NADA hotel options, and NADA ground and air travel savings—and point these out to your supervisor. .
Present the Return on Investment. Create a sound business case to justify your participation. Illustrate specifically what the dealership will receive in return for its investment. For example, you could bring back ideas to increase productivity and profitability, or find ways to solve key issues at your dealership. You could also get one-on-one feedback—from exhibitors and other attendees—about new products and services for the dealership. |
| Go in for the Pitch. You can use the letter we’ve outlined for you (download it here) or make your request verbally. Remember to focus on all the positive benefits—practical training, discounted rates/travel and limited time away from work.
What if your supervisor says...
1. “I can’t have you gone for so long.” This year’s Convention & Expo runs from Thursday-Sunday. Reassure your supervisor that you’ll have your cell phone with you the entire time and, if there’s a problem, you’ll step away. Work comes first and you’ll have access to complimentary WiFi in the Convention Center should you need to connect with your dealership.
2. “There is no room in the budget for this year.” Good thing you asked early, because the Convention is not until January 2017. Maybe you can front the cost now and get reimbursed in the new year? Your hotel room charges won’t come through until you’ve check out on the last day of #NADA100.
3. “Let’s talk about this in a couple months.” You can agree to this, but stress that the registration fee will go up and you will want to save as much money as possible by registering early.
You've attended the NADA Convention & Expo and it was everything you imagined it would be and more, what now?
1. Transfer notes. There is a good chance you’ve got copious notes. Transfer them someplace where they’re all together, easily accessible and shareable.
2. Clarify primary takeaways. You probably just got overwhelmed with a ton of information from workshops, general sessions and networking with your peers. Take some time to write down your primary takeaways and action items.
3. Check social media. Go to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and search for the #NADA100 hashtag. Preform and “audit” by favoriting or copying/pasting posts that inspired you the most.
4. Share it. Commit to a post-convention briefing for senior management and your team, where you’ll highlight what you’ve learned from the conference. Tie in what you’ve learned to your dealership’s challenges, goals and strategic plans.
5. Strengthen relationships. You probably made quite a few new contacts that can be added to your network. You can share ideas and solve issues together after you return home from New Orleans. Email, call and add them to your professional network.
6. Continue shopping the Expo floor. Just because the show is over doesn’t mean the savings have to be. The 2017 Expo is available all year by visiting convention.nada.org and looking for the "Continue Shopping the Expo Floor" link.