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Your Guide to Making the Most of NADA 2024

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Kinsey Wolf

Are you revved up and ready for this year's NADA Show? Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a first-timer eager to absorb all the automotive industry has to offer, preparation is key. From networking with industry leaders to exploring the latest innovations in auto technology, the NADA Conference promises a high-octane experience that can redefine your dealership's roadmap to success. But let's pump the brakes for a second; a conference this comprehensive requires a strategy. That's where this blog comes in.

We've compiled the ultimate guide to help you navigate the NADA Conference like a pro, ensuring you make the most out of every session, handshake, and demo.

Calldrip attends the NADA conference every year, and we’ve learned a lot about how to make the most of this fantastic event. So, buckle up and let's get started!

All about the NADA Conference

The National Automobile Dealers Association is one of the industry’s leading trade groups. This powerhouse group advocates for US dealerships, researches the trends shaping retail auto today, provides support for owners and employees of dealerships, and even supports the industry with workforce development - not to mention hosting this incredible annual trade show!

Here are a few key links:

2024 Update

This year, the show is back and better than ever in beautiful Las Vegas! This year’s theme is “Driving the Future,” and we’re excited for all the innovation and energy that will be on display. Here are some key details to know:

  • When: Feb 1-4, 2024
    • Education & events are held Thursday-Sunday
    • NADA Expo is open Friday-Sunday
  • Where: Las Vegas Convention Center! The address is 3150 S Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109. 
  • Who: If you own, operate and work at the franchised new-car dealership, in any role, this show is for you.
  • How to Register: 

Kicking off with a welcome reception under the Sphere, this NADA Show is sure to be a blast. Prepare yourself for an awe-inspiring evening at the Sphere in Las Vegas, where the lines between live entertainment and immersive experiences blur spectacularly. Mingle with fellow dealers, OEMs, exhibitors, and industry insiders, enjoy delicious gourmet food and top-shelf beverages, and traverse the cosmos - all without leaving the venue!

If you’re a woman in the automotive industry, you may be interested in attending the Women Driving Auto Retail event, happening at the luxurious Wynn Las Vegas. This event brings together education and networking to help you build your career.

2024 Travel Info

Here are a few important details about travel:

  • Discounted Airfare: NADA has partnered with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to to offer discounted airfare.
    • Visit Delta Air Lines or call Delta Meeting Network® at 1.800.328.1111* Monday–Friday, 7am–7:30pm CT and reference Meeting Event Code NY2DN. Please note there is no service fee for reservations booked and ticketed via Delta’s reservation 800 number.
    • United Airlines discount code is coming soon and will be shared on the NADA website.
    • Shuttle Bus Transportation: NADA offers complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the Las Vegas Convention Center and official NADA hotels. Shuttle buses will also run to and from the NADA Welcome Reception at Sphere and all official hotels, Thursday, February 1.
    • Hotels: NADA has partnered with a wide variety of hotels (view map of hotels | visit Hotel Accommodations). 

Learn more on the Travel and Transportation page.

7 Steps for Success at the NADA Conference

This is a huge conference with thousands of attendees, experts, and automotive brands! To make the most of it, you’ll need a little bit of planning and a little bit of strategy. Here are a few tips.

1. Do Your Homework

Don’t just wing it! Check out the conference agenda beforehand to research speakers, sessions, exhibitors, and events so that you make the most of your time - and investment. Make sure to prioritize those sessions that align with your interests and professional goals. Some events may require pre-registration; unless you check the agenda, you could be left behind!

2. Network Smartly

Elevator pitches aren’t just for salespeople; they’re a high-impact tool to quickly and intelligently connect with strangers. The key is to be natural and engaging, and help people remember you. 

Likewise, it’s helpful to supplement in-person connections with digital ones. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with speakers and attendees before, during, and after the conference.

3. Pack smart.

A big trade show like the NADA is a marathon, not a sprint! Be prepared for long days - and even long nights - by packing smart. 

You’ll want to bring:

  • Comfortable shoes. This is essential for walking and standing all day.
  • A light jacket or scarf. Even though it’s supposed to be mid-70s all weekend, big conference rooms can get cold. 
  • A water bottle. Talking and networking all day can leave you parched. Bring a water bottle so that it's easy to stay hydrated.
  • Light snacks. While there will be plenty of options to fuel up, it’s nice to have a backup plan in case you get hungry or you’re just not a fan of the menu. 
  • Business cards. You’d be floored by how many folks forget to pack their business cards. Make sure to put some in your wallet, some in your bag, and even a few more in your coat pocket so that you’re prepared. Or, go digital with an electronic business card.
  • Extra charger or battery pack. Chances are, your phone is going to get wiped fast, especially if you’re using the conference app while on-site. Make sure to bring your backup battery pack or charger so that you’re prepared.
  • A briefcase or tote. Carrying a stack of papers, agendas, and business cards in your hands is a great way to accidentally misplace your important documents. Bring a foldable tote bag or briefcase to the conference so you have an easy place to keep everything, and can be hands-free.
  • Last but not least, bring any postcards or other mail you might have received from exhibitors! You can use these to drop them off at the booth, which can sometimes enter you into drawings and giveaways. 

4. Set your Out of Office Notification

Don’t forget to set your Out of Office for both calendar and email, especially If you’re taking an extra day off to recoup. Using a calendar link to make it easier for folks to book meetings? Setting your calendar is doubly important!

5. Engage with Exhibitors

Exhibitors spend thousands of dollars each to create a beautiful in-booth experience. If you’re not spending time with exhibitors, you’re probably missing out on an opportunity to learn about key innovations, see cutting-edge technology and services, and even win prizes! Check out the exhibitor list and make a list of your must-see booths. 

Not sure who to visit? Think about the challenge(s) you’re currently facing or the factors that are preventing your growth. Then, explore exhibitors who help solve these challenges. After all, the right partner can transform your professional career.

6. Book Meetings in Advance

Hundreds exhibitors will be on-site! Chances are, you won’t be able to meet all of them in just a few days. Take a moment to review the exhibitors so that you can plan the ones you want to meet with - and make sure Calldrip is on your list. 

In fact, the NADA recommends that you go ahead and book meetings with exhibitors before the show even starts! We agree - it ensures that you’ll have a dedicated person available to answer any questions you may have.

Book a time to chat with our team about converting more leads with rapid lead response via call and text!

Book a Time at the NADA Show

7. Participate in Sessions

If you have a question, don’t be shy! The Q&A segment is a great time to get direct insights and 1:1 attention from industry leaders. In fact, if you have time, it can be helpful to prep a few questions in advance. 

The NADA is one of the largest gatherings of automotive industry professionals. There’s truly no better place to connect and learn. If you skip sessions or don’t participate, you’re missing an opportunity that only comes around once a year!

8. Keep an Eye on Social Media and Download Event Apps

We say it every year, but it bears repeating: download the NADA app! The NADA has worked hard to create a digital home while you’re on-site. This is the source of truth for session details, and a place to connect. The app will help you plan your schedule, connect with other attendees and exhibitors, and download handouts from the session. 

If you’re on social media, seek out and follow the dedicated hashtags for real-time updates, session changes, and networking opportunities.

9. Take Notes and Share Insights

You’ll forget more than you think. Take the time to jot down key data points and learnings during sessions. After the event, you can share your thoughts with your prospects, customers, and colleagues to spark a conversation. Sharing on public channels like social media can help you connect with like-minded individuals and even get noticed by industry leaders.

10. Follow Up

After the conference, make sure to send out LinkedIn invites or emails to new contacts. It’s best to do this within a week of the conference, so that the connection is still fresh.

The NADA is more than just another industry event—it's an opportunity to revitalize your career, expand your network, and gain invaluable insights into the automotive world. But, as with any opportunity, the returns you get are directly related to the preparation you put in. By researching the speakers and sessions in advance, crafting your networking strategy, and engaging fully with both the educational and exhibitor aspects of the conference, you can set the stage for a successful and enriching experience.

As you build your plans for this year's conference, remember that your preparation today lays the foundation for tomorrow's successes. Make sure to download the conference app for real-time updates, and don't hesitate to engage on social media to maximize your networking opportunities and make the most of every moment.

We’re excited to see you at NADA! Don’t forget to visit Calldrip if you want to learn how to connect, convert, and close more deals with conversational sales powered by AI.

After all, every sale starts with a conversation. If you’d like to go ahead and book a time to talk with our team, you can do that here:

Book a Time at the NADA Show

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