Glovebox Goes to Disneyworld

BY brent wees
2012/04/04

OK not quite Disney but we’re in Orlando attending the Digital Dealer Conference and Exposition. If you’re a Dashboard blog regular and don’t know what Glovebox is, we’re a niche automotive agency that grew out of Dashboard’s 10 years of digital experience in the automotive sector.

I’m writing this as Day 1 is wrapping up. It’s an interesting trip as Glovebox and the Toronto Automotive Dealers Association worked very hard to organize a healthy group of Canadian Attendees form the GTA to join us for the conference. We had an impromptu meeting of the group midday before tackling the panels and seminars that filled the afternoon track. It’s nice to see more Canadians here, mingling with their US counterparts and benefiting from insights that Glovebox uses for own efforts when working with our clients.

The resort/conference centre is a massive complex but it’s packed. Apparently there is an international plastics convention here that has drawn 160,000 people?! I’m not sure if that number is myth but a lot of returning attendees to our conference had to find rooms elsewhere in the area as the resort is booked solid. I also now know that there are over 2000 kinds of plastic, landfills be damned!

This afternoon’s sessions are well attended; the smaller rooms fill quickly so you hustle from room to room. I have had the good fortune of only sitting through one “dud” so far. I was polite and stayed until the end. A recommendation to that presenter, if you are going to present a seminar that walks people through “50 Best Practises Any Dealer Can Implement”, please make it engaging. At the 14th point I wanted to hang myself, but find that most conference centres lack open beams and a supply of rope to facilitate this.

I decide to pass on Google’s ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) keynote presentation which is ending the day. ZMOT is getting a lot of buzz in the automotive digital arena and many experts are tying into everything they’re talking about. However I feel it’s a little overplayed, OK I think it’s getting beaten to death. I get that there’s great data and studies to back it up but it feels like some folks are trying to run it down everyone’s throats. I have probably angered the ZMOT gods by my comments and should watch my back.

I can’t imagine a conference without social media, I have had the privilege of getting to know so many auto folks through social media and been able to access incredible content through them. Folks tweet heavily during these shows and the tags trend right away, it’s also a great way of pulling info from speakers you may have missed during the course of the day. Check out #dd12 to see what I mean. I have noticed the vendors have been a bit spammy prior to the show starting. The seminar chatter should drown it out.

I’m running into a lot of familiar faces and look forward to catching up with them as well as experiencing the next 2 days with our group.

Today’s highlight: Joe Webb’s panel on The Makings of A Great Internet Director.
Today’s low light: No WI-FI in the conference area?! WTF!? Kinda weak considering it’s a “digital” conference.

What’s for dinner?: Tonight we’re all heading to the Big Fin. If things get out of hand I will post those pics in tomorrow’s post. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. What happens in Orlando fills my Twitter account….