“The best-laid schemes of mice and men / Go often askew” – Robert Burns.
COVID-19 has played havoc with plans to hold any kind of mass gathering, but with things beginning to open up again, AADA is confident our rebooted AADA National Dealer Convention & Expo will be a roaring success.
Traditionally held in September, the pandemic forced the postponement of the 2020 event. The Convention will now take place from 15-17 March 2021, at the ICC Sydney.
It has given us extra time to plan, and develop a program suited to “the new normal” in which we will all operate going forward. AADA always strives to develop topical and challenging themes for our Conventions, and in 2021 we bring one of the most important and relevant yet. Our theme, Essential Re-Invention – The Dealership of Tomorrow, will provide delegates with the tools and knowledge to thrive in “the new normal”.
Even prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, our industry was facing significant challenges, including two consecutive years of falling new vehicle sales, General Motors’ decision to pull out of the Australian market, and Honda’s call to cut its Dealer numbers and move to an agency model.
On top of the record drought, unprecedented savage bushfires and destructive floods, it has made for a terribly difficult time for all businesses, but auto retailers in particular.
Our society has become more and more of an online culture over the years, and with “social distancing” likely to be with us for a while yet, internet use has spiked. With that in mind, AADA is compiling a program designed to give Dealers an express education in digital marketing in order to adapt to a changed world.
For years consumers have been comfortable buying clothes, books, food and other products online. Who will be the first Australian Dealer to complete a new car sale entirely online? What kind of digital experience will you provide for prospective customers that gives them the confidence to go all the way through to purchase in a completely virtual manner? Even if buying a car sight unseen proves too much for most, we have already seen over the past several years a massive migration in buyer research methods from physically visiting several dealerships to letting their megabytes do the walking.
One thing businesses and employees are learning from this crisis is that it is possible to work from home. Many businesses will emerge with leaner operations and Dealers will embrace a pared-back bricks-and-mortar presence, utilising best practice and contactless customer relations?
Making it easier for people to interact with your business will be the steepest learning curve for many. The world has changed, forever. That is why it is essential to reinvent, and in March 2021, we will show you how.