Auto Rental Summit is New, Again

<p><em>Auto Rental Summit invades Miami for the first time. This year&rsquo;s event will take place Nov. 6-7 at Miami Hilton Downtown. Fleet Forward Conference will convene on Nov. 7 with a cocktail reception and programming on Nov. 8. Photo courtesy of Miami Hilton Downtown.</em></p>

Auto Rental Summit — the conference dedicated to “people, process, and profits” — moves to Miami for the first time with a roster of new speakers and an inaugural add-on event dedicated to smart mobility solutions for fleets.

“Auto Rental Summit will celebrate its sixth anniversary this year, though you could call it a brand-new event,” says Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News.

Auto Rental Summit will take place Nov. 6-7 at Miami Hilton Downtown. Collocated with Auto Rental Summit, a new event, Fleet Forward Conference, convenes on Nov. 8.

<p><em>Photos courtesy of Eric Tillotson</em></p>

Fresh Perspectives

“More than two-thirds of this year’s speakers are new to Auto Rental Summit, and yet they collectively bring decades of experience in car rental to their presentations,” Brown says.

Accomplished speaker, author, and leadership consultant Mike Pitcher will deliver this year’s keynote address: “The Seven eLements of Leadership for a New Breed of Leader.” Pitcher, the former CEO of LeasePlan USA and a C-suite executive at Dell and Pitney Bowes, will bring his brand of humor, inspiration, and storytelling to takeaways on building a road map of success for both new and seasoned leaders.

“When I saw ‘Pitch’ speak, he got a standing ovation, and that’s a standard occurrence for him,” Brown says. “One of Auto Rental Summit’s core missions is to motivate attendees to bring inspiration back to their workplaces. Pitcher will deliver on that.”

This year’s agenda also features Neil Abrams, the car rental industry’s preeminent consultant and market analyst. Abrams will bring more than 40 years of industry knowledge to a discussion on the future of car rental, including the most recent strategies of the majors, the impacts of new transportation models and collaborative consumption, and how the advent of autonomous vehicles will transform the traditional car rental model forever.

Auto Rental Summit will once again take a deep dive into fleet during the Fleet Jam Session. Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Cox Automotive, will review the macroeconomic factors affecting the automotive and car rental industries, while Jonathan Banks, vice president of vehicle analysis and analytics at J.D. Power, will discuss vehicle values by segment and relate them to supply, volume, and penetration statistics.

Joe Lyons of America’s Auto Auction and Mike Muehlenfeld of Mile Fleet will round out Fleet Jam with their perspectives on the dynamic world of fleet sales and auctions.  

“From the high-level analyses of Jonathan Smoke and Jonathan Banks to a window into the trenches of buying and selling thousands of vehicles, Fleet Jam will equip operators with the tools to make better decisions in fleet planning,” Brown says.  

In line with Pitcher’s address, two more seminars will help operators hone management skills: Pat the Trainer of International Franchise Systems will deliver a new blueprint for managing employee performance, while Trey Russell, former director of franchise operations for both Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. and The Hertz Corp., will outline a process for operators to refocus on long-term company initiatives.

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Professional of the Year:

Other seminars will dispense best practices on running a successful car rental operation. Topics include tools for lawsuit prevention and tax reduction, ways to boost Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), understanding payment processing, brand building through social media, and how to avoid common accounting mistakes.

Two seminars — to be delivered in Spanish — are directed to Latin American attendees. Daniel Nunes Romero, CEO of Manheim Brazil, will outline the current state of remarketing in Latin America, while Luis Montalto of Rate Highway and Alex Shartsis of Perfect Price will give operators from Latin America new tools to price against their competitors.

Celebrating Excellence

Two deserving associates will once again be honored with an Auto Rental News Professional of the Year Award at the 2017 event. The Professional of the Year Awards honor associates who demonstrate and promote outstanding customer satisfaction and leadership in car rental worldwide.

In addition to awarding one associate from either a corporate, franchise, or independent location, another award will be given to an associate from a vendor company to the auto rental industry.  

The deadline for applications is Sept. 19, 2017.

New Conference Addresses Smart Mobility

Under the heading of “smart mobility,” intelligent transportation systems, shared and connected vehicles, and changing public policies are converging on the path to autonomous vehicles. “A transportation revolution is underway,” says Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. “A new conference, Fleet Forward, will outline how this revolution is affecting fleets.”

Fleet Forward Conference is designed to facilitate the active inclusion of fleet stakeholders in the smart mobility revolution through curated networking and high-level education. Fleet Forward’s programming focus goes broader than car rental to incorporate commercial, corporate, rental, government, and municipal fleets.

Seminars with a specific focus for car rental operators include “Reimagining Airport Car Rental” and “Implementing Self-Service Car Rental — Without Reinventing the Wheel.”

All Auto Rental Summit attendees are encouraged to stay an extra day to attend Fleet Forward Conference. The conference will commence with a cocktail networking reception on Nov. 7 and follow with a full day of programming on Nov. 8. Attendance is free for Auto Rental Summit registrants.


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