The 2018 AADA National Dealer Convention and Expo was ‘the best ever’, according to at least one Dealer, who was attending his 17th installment of the annual event.

Another delegate, a Dealer from New Zealand, described it as the best event of its type he had ever attended.

Held at the Gold Coast Convention Centre from September 3 to 5, this year’s Convention attracted 822 delegates and more than 70 Expo stalls.

Post-Convention surveys revealed a high level of satisfaction amongst attendees and exhibitors. The highest-rated presentation – ‘The Dealership of Tomorrow’, in the AADA Macquarie General Session – was given by feature speaker Glenn Mercer from the USA.

Exhibitors reported they were pleased with the layout of the Expo, saying it flowed well and made it easy for delegates to get around and visit each stall.

Speaking at the AADA Macquarie General Session, Shadow Assistant Treasurer, Dr Andrew Leigh, made the welcome announcement that a Federal Labor Government would introduce the industry-specific Automotive Franchise Code of Conduct that AADA has been calling for.

The importance of the Convention and the growing influence of AADA were reflected not just by the presence of Dr Leigh – considered a rising star in ALP ranks – but also in a keynote address from Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, the highest-ranking sitting politician ever to address an AADA Convention.

NADA Chairman, Wes Lutz, assured Dealers that talk about how ride-sharing business models like Lyft and Uber would put them out of business was wildly premature and stressed the importance of advocacy.

The 2018 AADA National Dealer Convention and Expo had the theme ‘Developing Prosperity in the Age of Automotive Disruption’, but as speaker Charles Mills told delegates, disruption has always been part of the game and they had better adapt if they wanted to prosper.

Other highlights included the MotorOne Business Breakfast address. ‘Determination’ by Olympic and World Champion cyclist Anna Meares, with feedback on her inspirational story backing up the many tear-filled eyes in the room on the day. Anna told the story of her incredible comeback from a career-threatening injury to win Olympic Gold and, not surprisingly, was rated the best guest speaker.

Television personality David Koch’s AADA carsales Luncheon address was also popular, revealing valuable insights into prosperity.

AADA was thrilled with the response to the Convention and is already planning to top it in 2019. Next year’s event will be held in Melbourne from September 9 to 11 and we look forward to seeing as many Dealers as possible there.

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