Tens of thousands of professionals from all areas of the auto retail sector gathered “Deep in the Heart of Texas” to kick off NADA Show 2023 at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas.
NADA Show, the Automotive Industry Event of the Year, includes keynote speakers, educational workshops, dealer franchise meetings, an Expo with 500-plus exhibitors and networking opportunities everywhere you turn.
Women Automotive Leaders at the Wheel
Business and brunch were on the agenda on Thursday, as the annual high-profile Women Driving Auto Retail (WDAR) event brought together 500 attendees to learn not only from those leading the charge in shaping auto retail, but also from trailblazers in other industries.
WheelsUp Founding Chief Growth Officer and Global Brand Ambassador Stephanie Chung talked about her experiences as a woman of color shattering the glass ceiling of aviation leadership. And Amy Nelson, founder and CEO of The Riveter, a community platform built by and for working women, shared advice on how to retain women employees in the auto retail industry.
Revving the Educational Engine
With more than 80 education sessions and 24 peer-to-peer Exchange sessions, attendees to NADA Show 2023 are diving into every trend, issue and update affecting dealerships today.
Thursday’s educational programming included the first of two Super Sessions. Automotive industry veteran and auto tech expert Steve Greenfield moderated The Future of Automotive Retail Roundtable.
Some of the nation’s most progressive dealers, including Carter Myers Automotive CEO Liza Borches, Holler-Classic Automotive Group COO Dino Constantine, Schomp Automotive Group VP and Partner Michael Dunlap, and Planet Honda President Bill Feinstein discussed the key themes and technologies shaping the future of automotive retail.
Over at the Live Stage, top industry experts joined NADA hosts throughout the day to offer solutions to build dealership success. Highlights from Thursday’s sessions included former NADA Chairman Rhett Ricart’s discussion on how to use video to sell cars, an introduction to Northwood University’s Automotive Marketing and Management program and the unveiling of the NADA Engage, a new peer-to-peer program for NADA Academy graduates.
Also on the Live Stage, Nav Bhatia, otherwise known as the Toronto Raptor’s Superfan, got the Distinguished Speakers series started. Bhatia shared his inspiring story of immigrating to Canada, becoming the number-one car salesman at Hyundai in North America and owner of two dealerships, and using professional basketball to change perceptions and encourage integration.
NADA Show Welcome Reception: Roundup at Gilley’s
After a successful day of networking and education, NADA Show attendees donned their best Western wear and headed over to the world-famous Gilley’s Dallas for a night of honky-tonk music, a taste of Texas’ finest fare and, of course, eight seconds on Gilley’s renowned mechanical bull.
Guests wandered through seven sponsored areas that offered games and entertainment, including live music, line dancing, flamenco dancers, LED stilt walkers and trick ropers, as well as gourmet music and top-shelf beverages. The evening ended with an exclusive live performance by Grammy Award-winning country music star Brad Paisley.
Looking Ahead at Day 2
Day two of the show begins with the ribbon-cutting and official opening of the NADA Show Expo on Friday, Jan. 27. More than 500 exhibitors will be on hand to showcase the hottest products and coolest technologies specifically targeted to franchised new-car dealerships.
Expo floor education programming at the Dealer Learning Lab and EV Solutions Center (Booth #7031) will get underway on Friday. Franchise meetings for Audi, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Stellantis and Toyota are also on the schedule. Check the NADA Show app for locations and times.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will take to the NADA Show Main Stage at 2:30pm to share her lessons in leadership, negotiation, and decision making, while inspiring audiences to live their full potential and achieve their highest dreams.
Finally, NADA Show’s first Twilight Exchange sessions will take place from 4:30-5:30pm in rooms D223-227. AutoFi’s Joe St. John will moderate a discussion on “Digital Retailing: Online and in Showroom” from while Freedom Solar’s Ryan Ferrero will moderate a roundtable on “Preparing for the Future of Electric Vehicles.”
Didn’t make it to Dallas this year? Don’t worry, we’ve got live coverage all weekend from the NADA Live Stage.
Stay up to date on sessions, recaps, photos and videos with our official daily show recaps and be sure to follow all things NADA Show on social media using the hashtag #NADASHOW on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
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