The 5 Things I Learned at VINCUE UNLEASHED 2023

Published On: December 11, 2023Categories: 2023, Updates

VINCUE UNLEASHED 2023 Recap from VINCUE Chief Experience Officer, Michael Hopkins. For information on registration or sponsorship for VINCUE UNLEASHED 2024, contact the conference team at [email protected].

How do I describe VINCUE UNLEASHED to anyone who wasn’t able to attend? A lot of ideas come to mind, but the main thing I keep coming back to is community.

This was our very first industry conference where we invited our dealers, industry partners, and major thought leaders from inside and outside of automotive to come together to discuss challenges, share wins, and ideate new solutions both inside and outside the software. The energy, passion, and joy that everyone brought to UNLEASHED created a shared sense of purpose and community – truly bringing alive the spirit of #TeamVINCUE.

There were a lot of takeaways from UNLEASHED, including objective learnings and practical applications of managing people, process, and technology … as well as some more subjective insights like:

  • I don’t know what the fire department says but turns out we can easily fit 150+ people into our offices and still have room for coolers full of beer and some of Kansas City’s best BBQ. 
  • There is a real Ted Lasso, his name is Donnie Campbell, and apparently some Kansans really do have a Southern accent.
  • Planning 10 hours straight of conference content is probably a little too ambitious for one day.
  • You give grown adults enough whiskey and offer them a slide, they’re going to chance bad backs and joints to take a ride.
  • If you’re going to compete against Bob Kain, you better come prepared because the man lives to win.

Whatever your favorite part, I hope everyone walked away from UNLEASHED with new information, new ideas, and a renewed passion for the work we do everyday in automotive. I look forward to hearing more from our attendees, but in the meantime here are the 5 things I learned at VINCUE UNLEASHED 2023.

1. There’s a lot more to VINCUE than most of our dealers realize.

We all know that being in retail automotive isn’t for the faint of heart. You have to be competitive, scrappy, resilient. But in this market and in the future of our industry, it’s not just about grit and hustle, you have to be smart. You have to innovate. You have to plan for all the knowns and unknowns of an industry changing rapidly to meet customers’ modern retail expectations.

That forward kind of thinking is what drives our team every day, and at UNLEASHED I got to see firsthand how our dealers are doing the exact same across their dealerships. As we heard from attendees, we learned how our dealers are staffing differently, managing teams and processes in new and creative ways, and utilizing technology across operations, sales, and finance in ways that didn’t even exist a few years ago.

The dealers that choose to work with VINCUE truly are some of the most strategic, innovative, and future-focused operators in the industry and we are so excited to grow with you.

2. Our dealers aren’t just operators, they’re strategic innovators.

One of our biggest value propositions is that VINCUE consolidates multiple functions, databases, and softwares (and licenses!)  into a single inventory operations platform. But that scale also means it may be difficult for our dealers to learn the full breadth and depth of features, functionality, and solutions beyond their daily activities. 

However, when given the opportunity to see more of VINCUE’s full solution set, many UNLEASHED attendees immediately turned to their Performance Managers to learn more about certain features and put together a plan to start using them.

Specifically, our dealers were most excited to learn about features like Deal Finder, Description Builder, and our BOOST digital VIN specific advertising engine. 

For most dealers, these features are already live and available with their current subscription, and they were able to start using them right there at VINCUE UNLEASHED. I would encourage all VINCUE dealers to ask their Performance Manager what more they should be using VINCUE for during their next monthly performance call!

3. Choosing your partners isn’t the same thing as finding sponsors.

No one at VINCUE believes we can solve all problems in automotive. The external influences, challenges, and competition we face is bigger than any one strategy or software. That’s why we created #TeamVINCUE, to bring together any stakeholder in automotive that’s committed to the success of the dealer body as a whole – including other innovative product and service providers. 

Even though it was our first year, there was a lot of industry interest in sponsoring UNLEASHED. But we didn’t want our dealers to feel overwhelmed and we wanted sponsors to be real contributors to the event so we limited the number of sponsorships and focused on inviting just a few of our long-standing partners. 

The ask wasn’t just financial, though. We challenged our partners to sit in the same seats as our dealers, participating in all the sessions, panels, activities, and competitions. Each partner at UNLEASHED represents the experience of working with thousands of other dealerships across the country, and we asked them to invest that knowledge as much as their dollars. 

We didn’t get to invite all the partners we would have wanted, but I am so proud of the sponsor partners that attended VINCUE UNLEASHED and I am grateful for their support!

4. #TeamVINCUE is a real community.

We have always believed in a rising tide that raises all boats and we’ve always seen the dealer body as an entity that understands that – even when it’s full of direct competitors. 

The truth is that our industry is a prime target for massive external investors, retailers, and corporations. But they don’t know what we know about automotive, they don’t have the generational knowledge and experience that we the collective dealer body share. They don’t understand that we can learn, adapt, and compete together to protect our markets. 

#TeamVINCUE was started as an idea, a placeholder for this sentiment. Over time, #TeamVINCUE has evolved into more concrete terms and currently represents a community of dealers and industry partners that share our passion and vision for modernizing automotive inventory operations for the next generation and beyond. 

We will always be competitive with each other, whether it’s building the highest Jynga tower or fighting for customers in the same market, but together we care about automotive and we’re committed to winning together!

5. We’re just getting started.

If you attended UNLEASHED, you got to hear directly from our Founder, CEO, and CTO, Chris Hoke, and Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Danny Zaslavsky. Together they shared a vision for the future of VINCUE that is rooted in all the things I’ve already mentioned, as well as more than 10 new features for 2024 that will be released at no additional cost to our dealers. 

Then they listened to our dealers pitch features and functionality that means the most to them – most of which is already being worked on by our developers right now. Together with our dealers, #bydealersfordealers, we will continue to evolve and help you unleash the true highest authentic value of your inventory. 

VINCUE as a company, as a product, and as the #TeamVINCUE community is already strong enough to stand tall in our industry, offering dealers the right data, tools, and capabilities to compete in a modern retail marketplace. But we’re just getting started, and together, #ByDealersForDealers, we will redefine automotive inventory operations for the next generation and beyond. 


more info


  • Monday, Sept 23rd – Wednesday, Sept 25th, 2024, in Kansas City

  • Brand New Cascade Hotel + Conference Center on the Kansas City Plaza

  • Professional Development, Exclusive Training, Software Feature Development

  • Registration Fee includes Hotel, Food + Bev, & Special Events

  • 100+ VINCUE Dealers, Partners, & Industry Thought Leaders

why attend

vincue unleashed 2024

Hear what VINCUE dealers thought about their experience at VINCUE: UNLEASHED. 

Thank you!! The organization of the events was top-notch. The lineup of speakers was thoughtfully curated. It was a pleasure to gain valuable perspective and witness the advancements that VINCUE has to offer. I’m particularly excited about how these innovations can contribute to making our daily operations more efficient.

Brandon Hanson

General Manager
Manchester Mazda

What a class act the VINCUE UNLEASHED conference was. From the venue, to the speakers to the vendors, all are in first class pioneering the industry on our most critical time. A must have partner for success in 2024!!

Rudy Padilla

Used Car Sales Director
Toyota of Berkeley

The VINCUE unleashed user conference blew away any expectations that I had for the event. You could tell it was thoughtfully planned and carefully executed to provide a first-class experience. I left with a better understanding of the platform, new connections with other users and partners, and some personal development.

Nick Staropoli

Used Car Manager
Freeman Motor Co.



VINCUE: UNLEASHED would not be possible without our #TeamVINCUE partners and sponsors. Thank you to the partners that help make UNLEASHED possible.

Table Sponsor, Presenting Sponsor, Lunch Sponsor

Table Sponsor


vincue unleashed

Danelle Delgado

Team Engage

Katie Mares

Chief Inspiration Officer
Katie Mares

Paul J. Daly

Founder / CEO

Kerri Wise

Chief Marketing Officer
Kerri Wise

Bob Kain

General Manager
Jack Kain Ford

Chris Hoke


danny zaslavsky

Co-Founder, Managing Partner, VINCUE

Nicki Hodges

Chief Operating Officer, VINCUE

Jamie Longwell

Director of Performance

Chris Arnold

Director of Performance

Thank you to our esteemed keynote presenters, speakers, and panelists from 2023! Check back soon to see updated featured speakers for 2024, or apply to be a speaker!