LAS VEGAS — Online F&I will be a hot topic at Industry Summit 2015, with the conference agenda featuring four sessions — two workshops and two panels — that will address today’s drive to digitize parts of the F&I experience.

All four sessions are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 10, at Industry Summit. They’ll cover everything from today’s mobile device-wielding customers and how they impact the F&I product presentation to improving the F&I sections on dealership websites. The conference is slated for Sept. 8-10 at the Paris Las Vegas.

“There’s been a lot of talk about F&I needing to join the rest of the automotive world and move more product and pricing information online,” noted David Gesualdo, publisher of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “So it makes sense that we stack the deck with four sessions that will take a look at F&I’s place in the digital age.”

Two of the sessions kick off at 10 a.m. on Thursday. There’s Ron Reahard’s “Right Clicking in a Left-Click World,” where the 2014 Best in Class trainer and president of Reahard & Associates will detail what every F&I professional must do to succeed in an age when consumers are checking every claim F&I managers make on a mobile device.

The second morning session will convene a panel of F&I trainers, who will discuss how today’s Internet shopper has changed their approach to training, among other things. Panelists include Jeremy Beck, national dealer training manager for Ally Financial; Dusten Cote, assistant vice president of training for Safe-Guard Products International; Tony Dupaquier, director of The Academy for the Service Group; and Peter Velau, vice president of training and development for Southwest Dealer Services.

At 2 p.m. that day, F&I and Showroom’s Brittany-Marie Swanson will moderate “Digitizing the F&I Experience,” a panel that will convene representatives from today’s leading software companies. They include Todd Mason, chief product and marketing officer for RouteOne; Jim Maxim Jr., president and CEO of MaximTrak Technologies; Carrie Profaizer, CIO for Protective Asset Protection; Brian Reed, president and CEO of F&I Express; and Mark Thorpe, president of The Impact Group.

“These are the individuals who are leading the F&I office into the digital age, so this should be an interesting panel,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today magazines.

The fourth session starts at 3:15 p.m. that day. It will be led Rich Moore, director of training for Protective Asset Protection. His workshop, “Using Online Video to Increase F&I Product Sales,” will show attendees how they can create inexpensive, high-quality informational videos to spruce up the F&I section on their websites. He will also cover topics these videos can address, as well as show attendees how to transform their F&I offices into working studios.

“With so much negative information online about what happens in the F&I office, Rich is going to show attendees how the industry can combat the critics with online video,” Arroyo said. “And let’s face it, the F&I sections on dealer websites are really lacking. What better way to spruce them up than with video, which represents the quickest and easiest way to connect with customers.”

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