When you’re a startup, you have to be very cautious with your budget. We make decisions every day on how to spend our new company’s money. While the vast majority is invested back into giving us tools to serve our clients, there has to be at least a little spent on educating the automotive industry. An industry that understands the market from a digital perspective is a better industry for us, so we have to participate.

We will be attending many events this year (frugally) but we must be selective with the ones that we actually sponsor. It’s one thing to walk around and have meetings at NADA. It’s another thing altogether to put together a booth, accommodate multiple employees, and pay the sponsorship fees associated with the events. When it comes to picking the right events to sponsor, we look almost entirely at the value that they bring our clients and the dealer body in general.

That’s why we’re sponsoring the Internet Sales 20 Group.

I’ll admit there’s a little bit of selfishness involved in this decision. Unlike the vast majority of events, this is one of the only that keeps the attendees together at all times. While this is impossible for the larger events that have thousands of attendees, when you have an event that has a couple hundred people in attendance, keeping them all together rather than making them choose between different workshops or break-out sessions allows as synergy to perpetuate and a momentum to flow. The IS20Group format is ideal for the interactive dealers of the world, the ones who realize that their best strategies come through dialogue with both vendors and peers rather than being lectured by a vendor with an agenda.

This isn’t a rip on any of the other conferences. We like the majority of them and there is a distinct value attached. Believe it or not, they’re all different. We just like the format of the IS20Group better than most.

Here’s a video of me speaking at the first IS20Group in Chicago. Notice around the 6 minute mark that the dialogue with dealers is not only allowed but is highly encouraged by moderator Sean V. Bradley.