Are you wasting money on your dealership launch event?

Dealer launch events – we’ve all been there, done that and got the T-shirt...

RTS Group will, next month, launch a brand new product app for dealer networks. The app will be available for iOS and Android, with an initial pilot running from May 2nd 2017.

As cars (and vans and trucks and bikes) become more focused on technology it makes sense to use technology to its best effect at events – but does technology add value?

At RTS Group, we help brands get the most from their learning and development budgets and work with them to help focus on the delegate experience. We think digital media adds to the mix and believe there are three key aims of introducing technology to dealer events:

1. Engagement: Capturing the imagination of delegates to engage their attention, with a wow factor, a fun factor and with “I’ve never see that before” being the aim. Think Motor Show and things like 3D cars and holograms, (but also think about your budget).

2. Efficiency: Ensuring that people know where they’re going, what they’re doing and how they can manage large numbers of people effectively. Here we’re thinking about invitations, arrivals scanning and even the automating of checking people in and out of cars so you know who was driving what and when.

3. Learning: We believe learning is the most important of these three aims. If it doesn’t add learning value and help make your learning points stick then is it just a gimmick?

The right tool for the job

We’ve found the most effective tool is an iPad or even better getting an app onto the delegate’s own phone – easy to carry around. Delegates know how to use it and best of all you can encourage them to take pictures. If they want to share on their social media directly from the event then let them. It is all about engagement.

The RTS Event App

We’ve developed an app that helps our customers achieve all of this but above all it answers the one question about technology at launch events “will it make the learning more effective?”. The answer is yes.

More useful ideas

We can also give you some tried and tested tips to increase the effectiveness of your next event:

1. Focus on the learning output: What do you want your delegates to learn, feel and do as a result of this event? So often we see events focused on the glitz and the glamour but forgetting that the investment return comes from the actions your delegates take as a result.

2. Don’t pin your hopes on just one day: One day of driving and learning will not achieve anywhere near enough learning – yes, it’s important to have the event, as this allows people to experience the vehicle and competitors, but build in learning before and after.

3. Don’t be frightened to measure results: But measure the things that matter. Yes ask if the day was valuable but focus on what people have learned, how they feel about the new product and what they are now going to do as result.

4. Work with professionals: An event doesn’t run itself by magic, so choose your event agency well. Are they experienced, focused on the learning and not just the glitz and will they help you measure the right things?

Whether your next event is large or small time spent on these basics will guarantee a better output – and still remember to have fun!


Malcolm is RTS Group’s Managing Director so he oversees everything in the company and spends a large proportion of his time on new business development. He joined us initially as an associate, setting up the Mazda Academy, and became MD in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry.

Malcolm’s background is as a freelance trainer, largely in the automotive sector but also within the finance industry. His first ever job was as a paperboy – he delivered 40 papers a day from 6am, and was paid double on a Sunday because of the weight he had to carry!

He admits he has a somewhat untidy desk and should probably get the coffees in a bit more often, but his good humour and go-getting approach means the team let him off. In his spare time, Malcolm is a rugby referee travelling across the south of England, and he has three grown-up children. Malcolm describes himself as “curious” which makes him the perfect person to explore new opportunities for RTS Group.