Baggott: What I’m looking forward to most at this year’s CDX17

Baggott: What I’m looking forward to most at this year’s CDX17

IN JUST a few short days, thousands of delegates will be converging on the home of the British Grand Prix for the largest motor trade expo in the UK.

CDX has rapidly become the destination for forward-thinking car dealers to head to if they want to learn how to improve their business, pick up new ideas and hear about new products.

Delegates getting their goody bags and lanyards at CDX16

Delegates getting their goody bags and lanyards at CDX16

The office is abuzz today with frantic last-minute organisation for the event, which will see 102 brands represented in the huge expo halls of the Silverstone Wing.

On Sunday, the team and I will head to Silverstone to start the set-up for this huge event. We have just shy of 3,000 delegates signed up to attend – but there’s still time to grab your free tickets. Just visit this link.

So, what am I most looking forward to on the day? Well, naturally, as I’m hosting the Car Dealer Live Stage I’ll be looking forward to chatting to all our guests.

We’ve got some brilliant keynote speakers from the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google – all of whom will give top tips for using their global platforms to help raise the profile of your dealership and sell more cars.

The IMI stand at last year's CDX

The IMI stand at last year’s CDX

I’m equally looking forward to the car dealer and manufacturer panels – we’ve got a cross-section of dealers from franchised, independent, car supermarket and even supercar retailers to share their own unique picture of the industry.

The bosses of Ford, Kia, Mitsubishi and Mazda will give us their insight from the top, while SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes will give his thoughts on Brexit and the car industry in general.

It’s all set to be fascinating stuff.

The full programme of events on the Car Dealer Live Stage can be found here – or detailed in your show guide which you’ll pick up on the day.

Elsewhere, there are brilliant sessions that I’ll sadly miss – but you don’t have to. If I was attending as a delegate, the session from headline sponsor GForces called ‘Why Digital Will Inherit The Earth’ – in IMC3 at 10.45am – would be a must-see.

It’ll be a tough call between that and Andrew McMillan, former John Lewis customer services expert in IMC1 at the same time.

CDX is the place to network and strike deals

CDX is the place to network and strike deals

In fact, the whole day will be full of tough choices just like that. We’ve tried to pack as much as possible into the event, with 20 worskhops in four rooms taking place throughout the day.

There’ll be even more in the Car Dealer Theatre – located in Hall 1, it’ll give businesses the chance to pitch their ideas to you Dragons’ Den-style. There are 10 sessions to catch up on there.

And as if that weren’t enough, we’ll be announcing our Woman of the Year on the Live Stage at 1.15pm, followed by the Women In The Motor Industry (WITMI) session at 2pm in Hall 4.

Elsewhere, we’ll be announcing our Social Media 200 Awards – highlighting the very best car dealers on social media – while on the Car Dealer stand in Hall 1 you’ll be able to sign up to this year’s Bangers4Ben for the first time.

And then for those of you lucky enough to get an invite, the Autocar Awards will be hosted in the evening in Hall 5.

Part of the expo at last year's CDX

Part of the expo at last year’s CDX

The day is positively packed and I don’t envy you having to choose between what to see and what to miss out on. That’s why next year we’ll be extending the event to two days and moving it to Manchester, where there’s more space, more hotels and better transport links for everyone.

More details of that will follow – but for now, enjoy the day. Come and say hello if you get the chance – I’ll be the lanky, bumbling one on the Live Stage.

See you on Tuesday.

Pictured at top: James Baggott on the Live Stage at last year’s CDX

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