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'Accelerate' your business at NADA convention in New Orleans

By Mark Scarpelli, Chicago Metro NADA Director
It’s fitting that New Orleans — a city as tough, determined and resilient as the auto industry — will host the 2014 NADA Convention & Expo in January.
Just like the city, the auto industry has endured its own share of crises and comebacks. We have been through many challenges over the past few years, but today we are stronger than ever and auto sales are steadily improving.
Since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, The Big Easy has invested billions of dollars in major restoration projects, including renovations at the convention center and improving the streets. There also is a new streetcar line connecting the Sports District to the Central Business District and the French Quarter. Hundreds of new restaurants have opened since Katrina and millions of dollars have been invested in hotel upgrades.
This will be the 10th time the NADA convention has been held in New Orleans since 1973.
Our convention theme is Accelerate — something the auto industry and New Orleans have in common, with both rebuilding our roads to recovery. The NADA convention offers all attendees — dealers and their managers, manufacturer execs and exhibitors — an opportunity to learn new ways to “accelerate” business success.
We’ve listened to feedback from attendees. After a thorough review of the convention schedule, some key changes have been made. Monday’s general session has been moved from the afternoon to 9 a.m., with workshops and franchise meetings to follow. And several franchise meetings are rescheduled for Saturday morning.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the quality of the workshops. We had 160 workshop proposals resulting in many new topics and presenters. From sales and finance to legal and executive leadership seminars, the 60 workshop topics cover every aspect of our businesses.
For convenience and accessibility, we have also developed programs that will be available through NADA University’s online education resources and the convention mobile app.
And as always, dealers and their managers can attend networking events, meet with manufacturer execs and shop for products and services from hundreds of exhibitors on the expo floor.
The 2014 ATD Convention & Expo runs concurrently with NADA from Jan. 24-27. ATD members can attend any of the NADA events and programs.
Online registration and housing is now open. Seven of the 33 convention hotels are sold out. Be sure to make your reservations early to book a hotel of choice. Dealers and managers who register by Sept. 13 will receive a $100 discount from the onsite rate. For more information or to register, visit
We’re working hard to deliver a convention experience that lives up to the billing as the “Automotive Industry Event of the Year.” See you in New Orleans!