Celebrating its fifth year, Auto Rental Summit (ARS) announces this year’s speakers and agenda, along with a new city and headquarters hotel. This year’s event will be held Oct. 24-25 at the B Resort & Spa near Orlando, Fla.
“We’re excited to be moving north to Orlando, a world-class destination, reachable with many direct domestic and international flights,” said Chris Brown, executive editor of Auto Rental News. “And wait until you see the new property — it’s upscale, modern, and boutique, and will serve the Summit well.”
Brown said the 2016 agenda will deliver on the event’s theme of “People, Process, and Profits.”
“ARS is not about legislative issues; it’s not Car Rental 101, or the future of car rental,” added Brown. “The Auto Rental Summit theme is about improving car rental operations. It’s about giving owners, managers, and their top employees the tools to achieve sustainability and directly improve their bottom line today.”
This year’s keynote presentation from Geoffrey Toffetti, president of Frontline Performance Group, asks attendees to examine this uncomfortable truth: “Employees don’t quit their job; they quit their boss.”
Toffetti will demonstrate how to hone leadership skills by defining a company’s core belief system and understanding key aspects of the employee mind-set.
Toffetti has delivered this message to senior management teams at Europcar, Universal Studios, Hilton Hotels, and its Waldorf Astoria brand.
“Geoffrey is a sought-after speaker worldwide on the topic of leadership,” Brown said. “Expect an inspirational message, along with take-home tools to improve employee engagement and drive peak performance.”
Returning for 2016, the Fleet Jam Session — a three-hour deep dive into fleet issues and solutions — kicks off the event Monday morning.
Tom Webb, Cox Automotive’s chief economist, along with a Cox Automotive general manager, will deliver a high-level analysis of the wholesale marketplace as it relates to rental.
Anil Goyal, senior vice president of operations at Black Book, will show attendees how to mitigate higher fleet costs with insights into depreciation trends, new and used vehicle supply, and factors affecting volume and demand.
Rounding out the Fleet Jam Session, Sixt franchisees Mark Eckhaus and Tim Yopp will share strategies on choosing the right model mix, advance ordering, spot buying, and remarketing opportunistically.
The balance of the seminars for 2016 directly addresses today’s hot topics in car rental.
In light of new $15-hour minimum wage laws, prominent employment lawyer Richard Alaniz will share insights into how car rental companies can prepare for the financial, compliance, regulatory, and employee-relations challenges that these changes can bring, as well as offer effective solutions to minimize labor costs.
The seminar “Can Online Brokers Expand Your Reservations Reach?” will show how brokers function compared to GDS-based platforms, who the players are, and how new platforms offer app-based marketplaces to deliver rental car inventory to new customer bases.
New technology solutions promise to boost utilization in rental fleets while providing a look into the future beyond rental counters: App-based provider Skurt will demonstrate how to leverage excess inventory through delivery of rental cars, while Hyrecar will explain its platform to rent fleet to Uber and Lyft drivers.
ARS seminars will cover various aspects of risk, including how operators can mitigate cyber-attacks and data breaches, steps to lowering insurance costs, and how to deal with risky behavior at the rental counter. The seminar “Effective Counter Sales that Won’t Get You in Trouble” will outline proper documentation, sale, and regulation of renter coverages such as SLI and CDW/LDW.
Finally, in light of the recall bill becoming law on June 1, ARS will present a seminar that tackles the recall issue from three perspectives: rental operations, dealer servicing, and data and consulting.
The seminar will present actual recall repair data and on-the-ground intelligence from the technicians completing the repairs to help operators refine their recall game plan.