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Five Takeaways from the CBT Automotive Conference & Expo

16 Feb Five Takeaways from the CBT Automotive Conference & Expo

Last week was the first annual CBT Automotive Conference & Expo, and the event was a huge success. Dealers, auto experts, vendors and other industry professionals from throughout North America gathered at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center, right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, for three days of learning, sharing strategies and networking.

The Force Marketing team came out in full force (pardon the pun). Three top executives (Kate Andra, Cody Tomczyk, and Eric Mercado) presented in educational sessions, and our CEO and President, John Fitzpatrick, participated in an engaging marketing panel and even had the opportunity to interview Nick Saban after his keynote speech.

So what were the top takeaways from the conference?

  • Millennials are a little weird, and dealers need to learn to talk to them.

Noted millennial expert Jason Dorsey opened the conference on Day One with an energetic and thought-provoking keynote speech about the generation and how dealers can better communicate with them. The top two ways to engage with a millennial, according to Dorsey? Make them feel special, and reassure them that they’re asking good questions.

  • To be successful, companies must be smart and healthy.

Leadership guru and best-selling author Patrick Lencioni gave the keynote speech on Day Two of the conference, and focused on how leaders can help their companies succeed. He said it’s not enough to just have smart people– companies have to limit dysfunction, learn to communicate, and value one another as people to be healthy, and therefore, successful.

  • The key to winning is having the proper mindset.

University of Alabama Head Football Coach Nick Saban delivered a keynote speech that fans of any team could appreciate. He spoke about winning, and the importance of setting goals and having discipline. The proper mindset– being positive and willing to overcome adversity, to put your mind to something and stick to it– is what will take you far in life.

  • Vulnerability and understanding is key in business.

Star of CNBC’s “The Profit” Marcus Lemonis (pictured above) closed out the conference with a keynote speech that was both personal and inspiring. He drove home the point that in order to succeed in business– or in any interpersonal relationship, for that matter– one must make themselves vulnerable and try to understand the person one is dealing with. Everyone has a story, and everyone has a reason behind their behavior. Knowing this, and treating people with respect, can make all the difference.

  • Force Marketing knows how to throw a good party.

This came as no surprise to anyone who has attended our annual holiday party, or one of our many happy hours or tailgates throughout the year, but it’s true all the same. Force sponsored the cocktail party during the evening of Day One of the conference, held in the Atrium at the Omni Hotel overlooking CNN Center. Between the live band, the sushi buffet, the meat-carving station and the branded ice sculpture, dealers knew they were in for a night of fun– and they were right.

All in all, the conference was a hit. We hope you had a chance to attend, but if not, be sure to put it on your schedule for next year!

Relive the conference through some of our photos:


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