Once a year the National Automobile Dealers Association has a big blast at its annual convention — this year in San Francisco, and next year back in Las Vegas.
It is a remarkable event that brings together thousands of retailers, suppliers and factory executives to share knowledge and obtain feedback from one another about opportunities and problems facing the industry.
It's quite amazing what goes on at a NADA convention. I have been attending for decades and am always surprised at how much information is shared among big and small dealers from all parts of the country.
Make meetings give dealers an opportunity to address concerns about their franchises with top management from the automakers. That by itself is worth the trip. And it never hurts to stroll the convention floor to gather ideas and get acquainted with new executives at the car companies.
I don't know how many seminars NADA runs during the convention, but there is one for just about every topic you might be interested in learning about.
If it sounds like a three-ring circus, you may be right.
Still, I am always surprised at just how many big dealers never bother to attend the convention.
Even the largest dealers can learn something, particularly by talking to their peers.
I have always enjoyed this event. There is always a product or a person I am surprised to see at the convention. And I like the idea that NADA has begun to standardize its schedule and host cities so that it is easier to plan ahead.
Automotive News adds a little spice with our special one-day Retail Forum to help kick off the convention.
If NADA is not on your bucket list it should be.
Once you show up, chances are you'll be hooked, and we will see you back every year.