The 2019 ACE conference introduced many inspirational speakers, who discussed industry trends and improving the relationship between dealers and consumers.
The Trillium Automobile Dealers’ Association (TADA), in partnership with Consolidated Dealers, hosted the 2019 Automotive Conference and Expo (ACE) last week on April 10-11 at the Fallsview Resort & Casino, Niagara Falls, Ontario. Canadian dealers were able to network with other industry professionals, showcase their latest products and services, and gain insight into how to improve their dealerships.
The opening presenter
TADA’s Executive Director, Todd Bourgon, welcomed guests to the event and started off the presentations by inviting Dennis Moseley-Williams, an Experience Economy Specialist, on stage. Moseley-Williams helps organizations to understand the significance of customer interaction within any industry, demonstrating ways in which experience can be crafted and staged so that they entice, educate, entertain, satisfy, and transform. Using the five stages of Experience Design (anticipating, entering, during, exiting, and extending), Williams explains how customer interactions determine the success of a business.
William’s presentation states that “people are uncomfortable with the word ‘staged’ because it sounds fake” but by staging an experience, dealers can sell their products and services more effectively. Other speakers like Mitch Joel and Mark Bowden agreed with this statement during their own talks.
Pitching new ideas
Next, TADA hosted a demo theatre. Here, 13 different companies from within the auto industry delivered their best three-minute elevator speech, where they pitched their new products to the attendees. Some of the companies involved in the demo theatre were Kijiji Autos, Cox Automotive, Hunter Technology, TradeRev, and more.
Afterward, other high-profile speakers presented their own ideas about the industry, including:
- Mitch Joel, Founder of Six Pixels Group, who is a Business Transformation and Marketing Expert and works with brands like Google, Starbucks, Walmart, and Shopify by coaching them how to use technology to connect with their customers.
- Mark Bowden, a recognized worldwide as an Expert in Body Language, Human Behaviour, and Communication, instructing clients on how to stand out, win the trust and build credibility through their interactions with their audience. His client list includes politicians, athletes, business leaders and celebrities.
- Ramona Pringle, Director of The Innovation Studio at Ryerson University, who is a writer, producer, researcher and journalist, and an overall expert in creativity, technology, and innovation, while examining the relationship between humans and technology; and
- Rick Hansen, Founder & CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, and better known as the “Man in Motion,” who is a celebrated Paralympic athlete with a passion for advocating for people with disabilities and advising leaders on issues such as accessibility and inclusivity.
Rick Hansen drew a large crowd for his motivational, and highly emotional, presentation, where he shared his life experiences. “The auto industry and dealers have been such a powerful part of my journey, giving me and millions of other Canadians mobility solutions,” said Hansen, as he encouraged the audience to continue to help improve the auto industry and make it inclusive to people with all kinds of accessibility needs.
Some additional noteworthy sessions included:
- Colleen Harris, who gave examples of how to drive customers from dealers’ websites to the service bay;
- Derek Sloan talked about finance and insurance and how, by improving that system, you can change customer expectations; and
- John Ruble, who taught us how to increase sales using A.I. powered assistants.
There were over 80 vendors at the event, all showcasing their newest technology to everyone else in the hall. Attendees had the opportunity to visit booths and network with other industry professionals and, at the same time, meet sports celebrities, like Ray Bourque, Doug Gilmour, Al Lafrate, and Daniel Nestor.
Souvenirs, such as stress balls, were also handed out at select booths as an incentive to start conversations.
The first day ended with the ACE Kickoff Party at Margaritaville, where all attendees, exhibitors, dealers, guests, and speakers were able to network in a casual environment. The iconic rock band and Juno Award winner, Honeymoon Suite, performed live at the party as a throwback to an 80’s theme night.
The second day ended with an inspirational speech from Mark Messier; thus, concluding ACE 2019 with a presentation to remember.