DEALERSHIP SUCCESS: Can Trade Show Connections Boost Commercial Dealership Success?
As the trade show and expo season of 2024 begins to bloom, it’s the perfect time to emphasize the significant role these events play in our fast-paced commercial auto dealership industry. Trade shows and expos bring forth opportunities for dealership owners and managers, along with personnel from OEMs and upfitters, that are truly unique to in-person events.
First of all, trade shows and expos give commercial auto dealerships direct VIP access to industry experts and peers.
These events establish a single location where stakeholders can:
• Discover and share new products, services, and technologies.
• Learn about the latest trends in commercial auto sales and marketing.
• Get a first-hand look at the latest commercial auto vehicles and upfit products on the market.
• Attend educational sessions on topics such as: How to increase sales with social media; How to improve customer service through technology; How to build a successful dealership website.
Although much of staying up-to-date on industry trends, innovative technologies, and best practices can be done online, in-person events provide access to vendors who can show you how their products can help your dealership succeed. It’s one thing to read about it and see it on a computer screen, but quite another to see it in person and talk to the people who are using it. You can see demos, ask questions, get answers, and see how things work for yourself. This is especially important when you’re considering new technologies or services that could have a big impact on your business.
The difference between online and live is like the difference between chat messaging and a live conversation. The rate at which information can be shared increases dramatically and that information is instantly tailored to your specific needs. Nothing compares to live one-on-one Q&A to have your questions answered.
To unlock the full potential of trade shows, you need to plan and strategize effectively. Align your team’s objectives with those of your dealership’s goals.
It’s wise to scan the scheduled displays and demos and make a short list of those that may address some of the issues your dealership is facing. Also, don’t pass up those “after-hours” types of gatherings, such as the Cocktail Lounge event put on by Work Truck Solutions at last year’s Work Truck Week (and happening again this year too). These types of events offer a great opportunity to relax and chat in a more casual atmosphere than on a convention show floor.
The true and full value of in-person events is the unique opportunity to make connections you would otherwise not have. Connections with vendors, OEMs, prospective buyers, peers, and industry leaders are connections that can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
In this digital era, it’s too easy to underestimate the power of face-to-face networking, especially in the commercial vehicle space. Trade shows bring together a variety of industry stakeholders—manufacturers, dealerships, and customers—under one roof. They offer a unique opportunity to create, deepen, and maintain business relationships.
Such personal interactions help us build that essential element of trust—a critical element of a dealership’s success. Step up and embrace these game-changing opportunities for your dealership’s unstoppable growth and success.