Mark your calendars

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One of the real pleasures of my role in the industry is the opportunity to assist in the planning of a number of important industry events.

Often, I get to participate directly as a conference speaker or panel moderator.

I love this part of my gig, because these events give me a chance to be a part of important conversations as dealers across the country seek to better understand the challenges and opportunities they face.

To a large extent, publishing for a national audience of dealers happens from a distance; event planning and speaking happens up close.

And the best part of this industry is being up close with the dealers and their team members who are moving this industry forward every day.

There are a number of events I’d like to highlight. While they may seem far off, we are well into planning them. And schedules fill up fast.

I’m working closely with Leanne Kripp and Rachel Lee of Kijiji, along with a team of dealers and key dealership personnel that Kijiji has assembled, to help put together three DealerTalk events this fall.

The events are: September 21 in Montreal; October 17 in Calgary; and November 16 in Toronto. Kijiji is investing heavily in these events to ensure they really deliver value for all those attending.

We’ll be doing a combination of strong keynote speakers and focused workshop sessions that will make for a very engaging day.

I encourage you to put these on your calendar. You can learn more at www.dealertalk.ca, and check out the daily blog while you’re there.

I’ll also be in Banff speaking at the Western Dealer Summit September 23-25.

The Alberta and Saskatchewan Dealer Associations are joining together to put on a top notch event at the Banff Springs.

I’ll be sharing some thoughts on mall-based pop-up stores, satellite sales and service locations, along with other automotive retail configurations that are a move away from the traditional large footprint dealership.

How much of an impact can we expect? Come and find out!

For more information, check out http://westerndealersummit.com/.

It’s a fascinating time to be in this industry.

There are a number of competing visions as to how the industry will evolve, and what exactly the role and shape of the automotive dealership will be in the next decade or so.

It makes for exciting days. And it makes events like the ones I mention here all the more important.

There’s never been a better time to expose yourself to different and often competing ideas of how this industry will adapt.

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Canadian auto dealer