Adapting to an industry that has seen unprecedented growth and change in the past few years can be difficult. Mixed market signals and political constraints can be a challenge for any industry to weather, but especially one like ours that functions on certainty.

One constant remains true: Meaningful and strategic change starts at the top. 

AED will hold its second annual Executive Conclave this September 18 and 19 at the Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, California. Conclave is where executives in the equipment industry go to gain knowledge to maintain a competitive advantage in good times and bad. CEOs, COOs, vice presidents, presidents, principals and owners capable of making impactful change in their organizations and the industry at large are urged to attend. 

“I would encourage anyone considering attending the AED Executive Conclave to go for it!” said Kevin Boreen, CEO at Exodus Machines. Boreen attended last year’s inaugural Executive Conclave along with 50 executives and thought leaders from the industry. “AED consistently runs a quality event, and the AED Executive Conclave was no exception. I saw many familiar faces from other events, and with the smaller venue it was easy to connect with whomever you wanted. The smaller venue also allowed the speakers/instructors to actively engage participants,” commented Boreen. “I don’t think I have ever attended an AED event and not been impressed.”

This year’s Conclave will meet at the intersection of policy and productivity. Attendees will enjoy exclusive industry insights on the economy, public policy, technological trends and workforce development. Here is a rundown of this year’s agenda:

How to Recession-Proof Your Business 
Hermann Schneider

Some business strategists and forecasters are predicting the next recession to hit in the next 6-18 months, and they all talk about “how to survive.” You don’t want to survive, you want to figure out how to leverage the situation and grow your business – even when times are tough and your competitors are crashing all around you because they didn’t plan ahead. This session will help you build a better company and plan for breakout growth during the next recession.

Hire Education: A Strategy Crash Course on Recruiting A+ Leaders for Your Dealership 
Gregory Tall

Your dealership is looking to recruit and hire new blood. We’re talking about the high-performing leaders you hope will catapult your dealership to the next level. But here’s the thing: they’re not looking for you.
Does it ever seem like the people you’d love to attract are infatuated with big-name companies promising high-profile, glamorous work?

In this session, you’ll learn how to create and communicate your employer value proposition. In other words, a compelling story about why #ThisDealershipRocks! (Hint: offer meaningful work + an exceptional employee experience).

We’ll talk about strategies to engage and draw in top talent. But just as importantly, we’ll talk about strategies that you, the dealer principal, can use to make your dealership a more attractive employer.

OEM Panel
This panel discussion, featuring OEMs from different market segments, will provide distributor attendees a wide perspective of the OEM marketplace, including the trends and challenges they anticipate in the near future.
Featured discussion topics:
New channel business models
* Changing technology
* The evolving rental market

Economic Trends, Critical Issues, and What’s Ahead 
John Manzella | a keynote speaker

Economic trends, critical issues, and policy positions advanced by President Trump are impacting corporate competitiveness and the U.S. and world economy. Combined with greater levels of volatility and trade complexities with NAFTA partners, Europe and China, these issues are shaping our future. What does this mean to the United States and your business? This invaluable program answers many questions, reveals global dangers, and provides analysis to help businesses better understand what’s ahead and reduce risk.

AI in Dealership Operations
Steve Clegg

Is your dealership using artificial intelligence (AI) in its operations? In this session, you will learn how AI analytics identifies and tracks the key metrics that drive your company’s growth. What types of purchases are impacting your results? What customers haven’t purchased from you in the last year? Learn how to leverage these automated tools to manage your business more easily and with better results.

Future 4.0: Excelling in 2020 and Beyond 
Tom Morrison

This energetic session will unpack the four key elements every business will need to maximize people, productivity and profits in the next decade. With the largest economic boom in our history in front of us, those who embrace these four key elements will have a competitive advantage in any market they serve. Fail to embrace them and you risk losing everything you worked for.

Wildcard Workshop
Kevin Burgess 

Business has been pursuing continuous improvement for decades. The resulting organizations are incredibly efficient at doing what they have always done. However, what got you where you are is not likely to take you where you need to go. The uncomfortable truth is which truly moves the needle for most organizations cannot be predicted or planned. But a smart leader can create a context where innovation finds a home.

In this workshop, attendees will explore:
* Why organizations stagnate
* How “wildcards” shift businesses, industries, and entire economies
* How to manage “wildcards” – people who have the potential to be game-changers if they don’t destroy you first
* What a “wildcard” system looks like; how to capture and test “wildcard” ideas
* Case studies of organizations that have successfully embraced “wildcards,” and the results

During the workshop, participants will also:
* Identify and discuss potential “wildcard” people and ideas currently within their organization
Develop a “lightning capture” strategy tailored for their organization, i.e., increase the potential for “wildcards” to take root and flourish
I* dentify the current mindsets, cultural norms, and behaviors in their organization that are limiting innovation

The Results Are In

At the conclusion of last year’s inaugural Conclave in Oxon Hill, Maryland, we asked several attendees to weigh in on their experience, which was all about connecting, innovating and adapting. Peter Gregory from Wells Fargo Equipment Finance commented, “For leaders, this was a great event to get you thinking about how you are managing your sales force and give you ideas on how to implement these strategies.” Wes Stowers from Stowers Machinery said, “A very worthwhile use of two days. I liked the schedule, which allowed us to arrive on Wednesday and leave on Thursday evening. The sessions were well worth the trip.” Stowers said he attended last year’s Conclave “to get away from the daily grind with several of our key leaders and receive some fresh and original insight into how we need to direct our company’s strategic planning.”

“I would recommend executives from manufacturing attend to better understand the issues most important to equipment dealers and how manufacturers can work with them,” said Connor Deering, CEO of Cemen Tech. “The Conclave focuses on the most relevant topics which are important to both dealers and manufacturer partners, because the strength of that relationship has a direct impact on product sales success.”

If you would like to strengthen your relationship with manufacturers and other dealers while gaining exclusive industry insight geared toward driving sales, join us at this year’s Executive Conclave in September.


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