Earlier this month, we kicked off XPEL Dealer Conference 2018 in downtown San Antonio. With insightful keynote speakers, informative breakout sessions, and cut-throat installation competitions, XDC18 captured the XPEL ethos to a T. Take a peek at the gallery above for a taste of what you may have missed. EXPERIENCING XPEL Dealer Conference 2018 If you've never managed to make it to XPEL Dealer Conference, fear not - it's officially an annual event. It's geared toward towards growth, and the momentum created at XDC helps drive us all towards mutual success. We're polishing the format, working out the kinks, and honing in on what makes XDC a must-visit for first timer dealers & industry veterans alike. Check out some of the highlights from XDC18 below. For the uninitiated, XDC18 might even feel a little overwhelming. From the minute you walk past the Lamborghini in the lobby to the moment you leave the awards ceremony, Dealer Conference is a state of mind. XDC18 Installation Competition A core component of Dealer Conference is competition. The paint protection & window film install showdown was fierce this year. From around the globe, the top XPEL installers fought their way through hoping to bring home the gold. Featuring over $20k in prizes from cash to film credits, the install comp brought a lot of excitement to XDC18. The intricate surfaces of the 4Runner & bulbous shape of the Beetle's rear window posed a challenge for even the most skilled installers. As the ULTIMATE paint protection & PRIME window film boxes started to pile up, the bracket thinned out. After a few strict rounds of judging, it was clear who would take the crown at XPEL Dealer Conference 2018. BREAKOUT SESSIONS This year's breakout sessions highlighted a little bit of everything. Behind the main stage, a bright yellow Porsche GT3 served as the subject for Advanced Installation Training. Attendees could also take part in DAP Q&A, along with a Dealer Round Table Discussion, and an informative exposé on digital marketing. Down the hall, participants could uncover the benefits of PRIME automotive window film and tint patterns. Of course, the VISION architectural & security film demo was a hit too, both literally & figuratively speaking. Guest Speakers at XDC18 While we may have cut back on the keynotes at XPEL Dealer Conference 2018, we made up for it with quality. The variance in schedule lended more time for stories, more room for engagement, and ultimately, a better experience overall. "The Alpha Dog" Jim Ziegler led the charge on the first day, highlighting his expertise with dealerships & what drove him to success. Day 2 brought with it the return of Facebook guru Jared Guynes and his keys to understanding how to maximize social media potential. Michael Vickers helped us understand the meaning of "Becoming Preferred" while maximizing brand appeal with polished experiences, quality service and consistent results. The Winner's Circle & After Party at Pat O'briens XPEL Dealer Conference 2018 concluded in a similar fashion to XDC17 with an open bar & awards ceremony at local haunt, Pat O'Briens. After a non-stop, 48 hour onslaught of all things XPEL, what better way to unwind than with a Hurricane or two? But enough about the after party. Lets' get on to the important stuff: the winners. Paint Protection Film: Showcasing their abilities with XPEL ULTIMATE, the top 3 in paint protection were Andrew Pilon in 3rd, Marcus Wiener in 2nd, and reigning champ Chris West in 1st. Window Film: For window film, the prizewinners for PRIME went to Juan Botia in 3rd, Sylvain Parenteau in 2nd, and Rob Ruska in 1st. Congratulate the winners when you see them - if you didn't win, don't let it shake you. Hunker down, practice like there's no tomorrow and home your skills. XDC19 will be here before you know it. Regional Awards This year's conference also marked the new addition of regional recognition. From all around the world, the top XPEL Dealers received awards for their ongoing efforts to push the brand to new heights. In no particular order, congratulations to Goldwing Autocare, Tint Tech, WD Co-Auto, E.T., Midwest Tinting, Gulf Coast Auto Shield, Automotive Elegance, Protective Film Solutions, Eurotech Motorsports, Knox Details, Eastside Auto Salon, and Protex Laval for a stellar performance in 2017. The Future Of XPEL Dealer Conference No doubt, the camaraderie among the XPEL Family is palpable. From the biggest dealers to the smallest start ups, we're all in it together, and that's truly what Dealer Conference is all about. Where will XDC go from here? Only time will tell. Maybe next year we'll be gearing up for an XPEL DealerCation on a beach somewhere. For now, keep one hand on the squeegee & an eye on your email - XDC19 is sure to be bigger than ever.