September 21, 2014 — We’re heading to Las Vegas this week for the 17th Digital Dealer Conference. Outside of the NADA convention, it’s probably the biggest dealer-focused conference in the country, and has been for several years.
There always seems to be news coming from the conference. During the conference last April (Dealer Communications holds two conferences a year — East Coast in the spring and Las Vegas in the fall), TBR broke the news that Gannett Co. had the inside track to acquire Cars.com (Reuters published something five hours after TBR’s story was online); Vista Equity had acquired a majority stake in DealerSocket; and we were first to publish TrueCar’s actual IPO date.
Along with the keynote presentations, there are 110 different workshops/presentations to choose from.
We’ll be looking for innovations that will move the industry closer to the “seamless transaction” world. As part of that, we believe there is still a great deal of innovation that needs to happen in the F&I area and in the area of data integration — things such as integrating incentives and leasing programs into the pricing solutions that Edmunds and TrueCar provide.
Meanwhile, fixed operations is another area that needs significant innovation on the digital side.