As soon as the 2023 CADA Summit finished, the planning committee (which consists of CADA’s senior leaders and the publishing team on Canadian auto dealer) dove into the attendee feedback to understand where we needed to make refinements, which topic areas really resonated, and which ones were seen as less important by the audience. The committee then spends months debating the topics and considers what is most on the minds of dealers.
In many cases, we look outside our industry, outside our country, and outside the next month’s sales cycle to try to present dealers with thought provoking and challenging perspectives on the forces that pose risk or opportunity. In so doing we run across people with experiences Canadian car dealers might not have had — yet.
Some recent examples include hearing from speakers like James Voortman, head of Australia’s dealer association discuss their run-ins with the agency model, and Norwegian car dealer Sverre Helno, who gave dealers a glimpse of what their future might look like selling and servicing almost entirely electric vehicles.
Being able to look abroad to see markets that are further along the same evolutionary path as the Canadian market is fascinating. A bit like looking into a crystal ball. The popularity with dealers of both of these speakers proves that we would all like a chance to peer into the future. No surprise there.
As we plan the 2024 Summit (February 14th in Toronto, mark your calendars) I can honestly say that we’re thrilled to be back in the rhythm of planning an in-person event.
While full credit needs to be given to CADA, TD Auto Finance (as the exclusive sponsor that makes the Summit possible) and the dealers for pivoting to an online event during the depths of the pandemic, it was simply not the same as gathering the senior leadership of our entire industry in one room and feeling the shared energy and focus that creates.
This is as good a networking opportunity as the Canadian automotive calendar has to offer. If you haven’t been, I encourage you to come. For those loyalists that I’ve seen there for years and years (this will be our 11th Summit) I look forward to seeing you there again.
Save the date. Share any ideas you have that you’d like to see reflected in the Summit’s agenda (you can email me at email@example.com). And figure out how you’ll integrate your Valentine’s Day 2024 with the Summit.
I hope to see you there.