Three weeks after Vizthink, we were back in San Francisco for NADA 2008, the retail auto industry’s largest annual convention. Based on the positive feedback from the dealerships involved in our pilot and what we heard from some of the best minds in the visualization community, we thought it was the perfect time to announce the reports to a larger audience.
And what an audience it was: 24,000 people, 700 exhibitors, 5 halls. We spent a lot of time meeting up with people in the business so we didn’t get to see some of the more interesting sessions. By all accounts the conversation was well-developed with a lot of dealers working through the issues of making the most of their technology investments and looking for opportunities to work better and smarter (read excellent summaries of 3 of these sessions at The Light is Green).
Where ever we went in San Francisco there were dealers swapping ideas and making the most of their time on the coast. We had a chance to meet up with several important people in the industry, including DMS vendors, CRM providers, OEMs plus a mass of dealers, and went quite a bit further than we thought we were going to go.
I’d like to tell you more about how those went, but they’re in progress/on-going, so you’ll have to wait for the full story.
The convention ended with an oustanding speech from Tom Brokaw. He challenged the dealers and industry people in attendence to focus on our duties, to never rest and to seek out innovation and new ideas, building upon what was left by those who preceded us, and leaving something greater for those who follow. The room fell silent for a few moments before erupting in a standing ovation.