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5 Ways You Benefit from Dealer Week Education Going Digital

So, Dealer Week is going digital. How are you dealing with that news? Are you grieving the opportunities you’ll miss by not being toe to toe with your industry friends and business partners, the best dealers and the best dealership trainers on the planet? Or maybe you’re relieved that you won’t have to decide whether to travel in these strange times, whether to shake hands or not, wear a mask or not, or make a myriad of other decisions that were once much easier. Or maybe you feel a little of both.

Let’s face it: change can be tough. Even good change. In fact, research suggests that the process of adapting to change is similar to what we go through when someone we love dies. It can involve denial, anger, bargaining and depression before you finally reach acceptance, according to Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. But sometimes, when we’re lucky, change simply makes life better.

That’s the case when it comes to this year’s Dealer Week education. Here are five ways that you and your dealership will benefit from MRAA’s Dealer Week education going digital.

  1. More is better when it comes to your team. By going digital, we’re making it even more affordable for you to give more of your team access to Dealer Week education. For what you used to spend for two people to attend (registration, flight, hotel, food and beverage, entertainment, etc.), you can now register 8 to 10 people. That makes it easier, more effective and more efficient to create real positive change and growth based on what you learn at the event. You’ll be able to inspire buy-in for new ideas you want to put to work in your dealership by participating in those sessions as a team, and you can build a plan to make it happen together with the employees who will execute it.

  2. More is better, times two when it comes to education. Three paths are better than one. When you’re in-person at Dealer Week, you have to choose between three pathways of education that run at the same time throughout the event. When you attend Dealer Week Digital, you can experience one pathway session during the scheduled time, then circle back to attend the other two pathways in your spare time later that day, in your pajamas that night, or anytime during the three-plus months following the event. With more than two dozen educational opportunities to choose from, you’ll gain more value from the education this year than ever before. 10 x How Many? At last year’s event, MRAA debuted our 10 x 10 education series. It consisted of 10 presentations, 10 minutes in length, by thought leaders. Presenters included folks like Bill Yeargin, president and CEO of Correct Craft; Bruce Van Wagoner, president of the Marine Group at Wells Fargo CDF; and Phil Smoker, Vice President of Sales at Smoker Craft Inc. This year, we’re expanding the series, inviting MORE thought leaders from each and every sector of the industry to participate. We’ll highlight the best of the best, but you’ll be able to gain new insights, tools and strategies from ALL of them through Dealer Week Digital.

  3. More is better when it comes to best practice sharing. We’ve always believed in the power of dealers learning from other dealers, and our annual conference and expo has always attracted the best dealers across the industry. With the tools available to us in this digital environment, dealers will have the opportunity to share what is working and not working in their businesses with each other. They’ll be able to use the chat and Q&A features during the education sessions, participate in dozens of roundtable discussions on the topics that matter most to them and to their employees, and learn from dealer case studies in each of the educational pathways.

  4. Sooner is better. Who wants to wait until December to start tackling their pain points, discovering new opportunities, working on their dealership, and planning for 2021? No one. That’s why we’ve introduced the Dealer Week edition of MRAA’s Ask the Expert webinar series. On Wednesdays this fall, the leading trainers and educators who will be speaking at Dealer Week 2020 will take turns being interviewed on three things dealers like you can do now to prepare for success.

  5. You’re in charge. The education team at MRAA could write a book about all the different ways dealers can use the training we provide to improve and grow your dealership. (In fact, we already wrote the first draft. You can find it here.) The beauty of participating in Dealer Week Digital is that you and your team have so many choices about how you take advantage of the training, tools and connections the event provides. Here are a few examples: Learn as a dealership – Will there be education sessions that will benefit every employee in your dealership? You bet there will. So, sign everyone up for the conference, and ask them all to participate in one or more of the sessions at the same time. You may want to close the dealership to the public for the day to allow the entire team to participate. Afterward, throw a pizza party! This is your chance to pull the group together to discuss their key takeaways and what you’ll do individually, as departments, and as a dealership and when to apply what you learned. Learn as a department – Every department in your dealership can benefit from the training offered at Dealer Week, whether you’re working on improving the customer experience you provide; your employee performance and engagement; or the systems, processes and financial contributions you make to the dealership. Make a list of your biggest problems and opportunities to improve, then scan the Dealer Week educational line-up (coming soon) for those sessions with solutions and insights. Learn alone – Some of the training provided will help you meet your goals. Some of it will help those you manage fulfill their performance goals or professional development goals. Create an education plan for the event for yourself and encourage your managers to do the same. Then, work with those who report to you to help them do the same. These professional development opportunities are a win-win-win. All of those who participate get the chance for professional development, and the resulting growth benefits the dealership and its customers too.

While you can certainly learn alone, you’re never on your own in choosing the best education for you, your team or your dealership. There is nothing our team loves more than helping you design a customized training plan to maximize your results. Please reach out to me at if I can assist.

In the meantime, as we put a bow on this year’s educational line-up, we’re also working on a guide to Dealer Week Digital that will help you make the most of the education, people, tools and technology it will offer. We can’t wait to join you for the best education yet at Dealer Week Digital, Dec. 8-11.

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