gail and rice

2016 lincoln dealer meeting

2016 lincoln dealer meeting

Brand-building business meetings.

Lincoln’s annual dealer meeting plays an essential role in the transformation and development of the luxury automotive brand, communicating the company’s future plans to those on the frontlines of the sales experience. 2016 was a pivotal year with the introduction of the new flagship Lincoln Continental sedan and a suite of enhanced client services that brought appeal to a different clientele than automotive dealers were accustomed to serving. Our clients challenged us to create a meeting experience that would not only educate – but demonstrate – the elevated, personalized client services dealers would be expected to deliver.

Our solution was to revisit the entire dealer meeting program by asking dealers for their input and customizing the experience to their preferences, in the same way that Lincoln studies and responds to the needs of its luxury automotive target customer. That began with a new online pre-event survey, designed to mine information about the topics dealers wanted to discuss and the type of experiences they find most valuable and enjoyable. 

What we learned is that, above all, the dealers wanted to know about product – especially future product. So, we redesigned the meeting structure, allowing dealers to learn about the new Lincoln Continental and MKZ immediately in the first general session.

Our production and creative teams amplified these product messages with a hands-on product immersion and driving experience at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After dealers got a taste of the new product that would soon be in their showrooms, we cranked the excitement up a notch with a dramatic projection mapping reveal of a new vehicle that was in early development.

Dealers also indicated that executive presentations should be briefer and less scripted, so we challenged our clients to adopt a “TED Talk” mindset, removing the teleprompter tether and limiting the length of each presentation to 10-20 minutes. Clients and dealers found the new format refreshing and we also gave them a say in the content, allowing them to vote on and suggest other topics.

In our post-event survey, dealers described the meeting as “awesome, perfect, top notch, fantastic, amazing” saying they were “blown away” and “loved it.” 98% agreed the meeting gave them a better understanding of the direction of the brand, 97% felt the breakout session format was an improvement over previous years and 93% felt the driving activities provided information and experiences they could use at their dealerships.