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The NADA 2021 Show Is Going Virtual – Here’s Why All Dealers Should Attend

Photo courtesy of NADA website

It’s that time of the year again when all the who’s-who of the automotive industry gather together to this century old tradition. Yes, the 2021 NADA Virtual Show is coming soon, and yes it’s virtual. Which means you can attend from anywhere.

Many have thought that the 2021 NADA Show would be cancelled due to the onset of the global health crisis that many are still experiencing. It’s a good thing that the organizers have thought of a great way to push the show through – a virtual show. It’s not just the usual online meetings – we’ll get into that in a bit. Also, we are going to give you reasons why dealers should attend the 2021 NADA Virtual Show.

nada-show-2021 NADA headquarters

What Is NADA? A Little Look Back

Before we divulge what the 2021 NADA show is all about, let’s get to know NADA more. The NADA – short for National Automobile Dealers Association – is one of the biggest automotive trade organization in the world, if not the biggest. As of writing, NADA represents more than 15,000 car and truck dealerships not just in the US but also from other countries. More than 100 years old, this Virginia-based organization has been helping dealers with monitoring federal legislation and regulation, making them the primary trade association for dealers.

Michael J. Stanton is the current president and CEO of NADA, a position he’s been holding January of 2021. Also, Ohio-based dealer Rhett Ricart (of Ricart Automotive) served as NADA’s chairman for the year 2020

Photo courtesy of NADA website

The NADA Show

The NADA Show began not long after the organization came to existence. The very first NADA convention was held in Chicago in 1918. Chi-town held on to the hosting rights of the show for more than 40 years after that. Since then, the show has been hosted by different cities year after year. Aside from the NADA Show, the organization also hosts annual automotive forums in key cities such as New York and Los Angeles.

It’s not just the movers and shakers in the automotive industry that attend the show – some of the most important world figures have attended the annual convention. Keynote guests in the past include Ronald Reagan, Ross Perot, George W. Bush, Maya Angelou, and Henry Ford, to name a few.

The NADA Shows usually happen during the early months of the year (either February of March). And, usually, the convention lasts for two to three days on average. Aside from the forums and presentation, one thing to expect during the NADA show is their marketing workshop. This is a great platform for dealers, both old and new, to learn the timely approach to car sales and marketing, as well as share ideas with each other.

What To Expect During The 2021 Virtual Show

The 2021 NADA Show will be the first of its kind. As mentioned, this year’s convention is going to be done online due to the world health crisis. Many people may not like the idea of having it done online, as some would prefer going to shows in real life. But the organizers really thought of a way to make it more appealing to the participants. So what should be expected during the show, which will happen from February 9th to 11th?

More Than Just An Online Meeting

Ever since the pandemic started, online meetings became a thing in this “new” normal. Apparently, millions of people all over the world are not a fan of it. That’s why the NADA organizers made sure that their virtual show is going to be a lot different than the usual virtual conferences. The online show is customized and programmed in such a way that it is entertaining and informative at the same time.

Enter The Virtual Convention

It’s going to look more like a virtual conference hall than a bunch of squares with talking heads. To gain access, all you need to do is simply register. Once done with registration, you can now enter different content channels which you can view from the main stage expo floor. You can also check who is presenting and watch the distinguished speaker series, as well as the workshops available. Last, you can also join the franchise meetings with different OEMs. Take note that all franchise meetings will be real time and not taped.

Customized Visit

NADA organizers are sure that most participants will not join every meeting, talk, and workshop. That’s why they make the 2021 NADA Show more tailor-fit for everyone. After the registration, you will be asked on which brands apply to you, and you will be invited to the ones you selected. There are thousands of brands who are going to be attending the show, so you need to choose wisely on which brand meetings you want to attend.

Better Networking

One of the reasons why people attend conventions like the 2021 NADA show is that it’s a great opportunity for people to network with exhibitors and fellow-minded folks. Being a virtual show, participants may think it’s hard to connect with each other. However, this year’s show will have a networking tool that lets exhibitors set up chatrooms where you can talk to both exhibitors and fellow visitors. The chatroom is the perfect venue where you can learn more about the products and services the exhibitors offer.

Exclusive Offers

Of course, all convention participants will be considered special guests. That’s why for the 2021 NADA Show, attendees will be given special and exclusive offers, product launchings, demos, and other opportunities to discover products and techs that you can use to your dealer’s advantage.

Mark Wahlberg

A very interesting lineup of presenters will grace this year’s show. Spearheading the lineup will be actor and franchised dealer Mark Wahlberg. Other interesting personalities include Ford’s Jim Farley, and investigative reporter Bob Woodward. From the NADA’s side, presenters are going to be Rhett Ricart and Paul Walser, NADA Chairman of 2020 and 2021, respectively. The current NADA President and CEO Mike Stanton is going to be there, too. And these are just the main stage presenters. For their distinguished speakers, check out this link.

nada-show-2021 mark wahlberg

Why Dealers Should Attend The 2021 NADA Virtual Show

Now we all know how busy dealership owners are. Because of that, going away for a few days to attend a convention such as the 2021 NADA show might be a waste of time. That isn’t the case. It’s only going to be a waste of time if you’re not taking advantage of your time when you’re there. Events such as trade shows, conferences, and conventions may just be the opportunity you need to boost your business. With that, here are the reasons why dealers of all types and sizes should attend the 2021 NADA Virtual Show

Meet Your Idols

Like we mentioned, NADA brings the who’s-who in our world today, be it in politics, entertainment, and automotive industry. When your business idol is going to be present in the show, this is your chance to be able to meet them. Now, there’s no guarantee that you would be able to speak with your idols for a few minutes, but being in the same space as them is already a step forward.

Since the NADA Show 2021 is virtual, you may not see important people in the flesh. Do know that the show is exclusive only to those who registered. So, the first-hand information you’re taking from their talks will only be available to a handful of people.

Know Who Your Competitors Are

Many people think that being around competitors is only a waste of time, that it’s only an opportunity for them to steal your ideas. This is not the case most of the time. Your competitors are there to also learn and share ideas. Going to a convention like the 2021 Virtual NADA Show is only practical. This is true, especially if you own a small or medium-sized dealership. If you want your business to succeed this year, the 2021 NADA Show is your best chance to get the tools to keep it growing.

It’s already a given that some people get there to learn more about their competitors, be it exhibitors and other guests. Take this show as an opportunity to learn more about your competitors, how they manage their dealership, what are their strengths and weaknesses. The information you gather will give you the edge to help you go on top.

Learning From Other’s Mistakes

The primary thing you’d get from joining conventions is that you’d learn many things. These lessons are not just going to come from anyone, but from the best in their respective fields. It’s imperative to understand that, as entrepreneurs, we sometimes make mistakes. But we can avoid business errors by learning from the mistakes of others.

The best people in the industry have their own fair share of troubles, and they overcame them. This is what they usually share during their talks. You can take note of the things they’re sharing and remember them when you’re in the same predicament. Also, you would know the consequences of making such mistakes.


It’s Business Mixed With Pleasure

Just think of it as a vacation. Or, in this virtual case, a staycation. You can choose to attend the virtual show while being in the office and doing work. But, where’s the fun in that? Instead, you can just stay at the comfort of your own home. Or you can probably rent a hotel room (if allowed during this time) and enjoy the change of scenery.

You may miss your colleagues and your office for a few days, or you may just need that well-deserved time off. And it’s not even just to unwind. You’re picking up some valuable and innovative information you can use for your business.

See You At The NADA Show 2021!

Carketa will be attending the the NADA Virtual Show 2021. We are available to all car dealers attending to help them – through our tool – increase sales and productivity while slashing the active time spent. To learn more, click here.

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