Anyone who has attended an Exclusive Automotive Group event knows David Bilger. A passionate car guy with a strong suit for digital marketing and event production, David has been leading EAG’s marketing and organizing its exclusive events since 2015. We spoke with David to learn how he curates events for Exclusive Automotive Group, what his goals are, and what we can look forward to. Read the Q&A below.
What were some events that Exclusive Automotive Group (EAG) hosted in the past year?
It has been a very busy year for Exclusive Automotive Group. In March, Aston Martin Washington D.C. hosted the Valhalla supercar at a private estate for depositors and prospects to have an in-person look. June brought a month of non-stop grand opening events to celebrate the new facility, including private parties, public events, a ribbon cutting, drives in the DBX707 – the world’s most powerful luxury SUV, and a lot more! The dealership just wrapped up hosting a Formula One car, and next up is the hotly anticipated return of the Valhalla for a public event.
How often does EAG have an event?
EAG hosts about two events a month at the dealership and up to six events a month offsite, and EAG also functions as a venue for meetings and events held by regional companies. The latter part is just getting underway. The new dealership was designed with events in mind, and companies are beginning to book fall events now.
How do you choose an event venue?
My team strives to keep offsite event venues interesting and unpredictable. When creating the James Bond premiere party, we secured an IMAX theater. We had attendees board unmarked busses to an undisclosed location – which happened to be a very “Bond-like” estate for an afterparty. The outdoor space was perfectly manicured and showcased a garage full of rare Aston Martins. Inside, the home was impeccably decorated. It was a truly memorable event. I think we hear, “You should throw another Bond party!” at least once a month.
“The new dealership was designed with events in mind, and companies are beginning to book fall events now.”
What makes EAG events so appealing?
Exclusive Automotive Group events are like going to a family reunion. Sure, these events are created around extraordinary cars, and that makes every event noteworthy. But, dealership clients and members of the DC car community have really gotten to know each other over the years. At every event, guests are reconnecting and talking about family, life, and of course, cars. My team strives to keep that feel at every event. No matter who you are or what you drive, you should absolutely feel welcome at an EAG event.
Does EAG events attract celebrities or other high-profile individuals?
It goes without saying that every EAG client has seen success in their career. The dealership believes all attendees are noteworthy, even those coming through for the first time with their kids just to see the Bentleys & Aston Martins on the floor. It’s amazing to see the friendships that are formed between individuals who might not have crossed paths otherwise.
“No matter who you are or what you drive, you should absolutely feel welcome at an EAG event.”
How do you ensure celebrities don’t feel in the spotlight and they feel some privacy at EAG events?
There are individuals who do have a difficult time appearing in public. Dealership events are developed around making all attending feel welcome. Some events are limited to just a few invited guests. Others are closed VIP events. Some are open to everyone. Koenigsegg events, for example, were set up for depositors, interested parties, and guests to have closed events, and in some cases, private time with the vehicles. The dealership also hosted press events, car club events, and open public events the same week. Everyone had an opportunity to see and enjoy Koenigsegg’s magnificent cars.
What do you want attendees to feel when they attend an EAG event?
Ultimately, all should feel welcome. Anyone coming to a dealership event loves the brands. That’s fantastic. They should have a great experience.
How do you ensure EAG customers are satisfied from their experience at EAG?
My team is always taking feedback. We strive for memorable experiences every time. Sometimes, they don’t go as planned. We had an internationally streamed product launch of a very exciting car lose audio. We had TVs playing supporting product videos turn into aquarium mode just prior to launch. We had a shuttle get lost. Our March Valhalla event had a freak snowstorm on only that day. It was 60 degrees the day before and after. Snow removal was an issue. Things happen. Our goal is to always make the experience the best it possibly can be. It’s always getting better. We love input.
How do you measure success for each event?
Our team begins every event with a measurable goal. That goal is different for every event. Then, we build backwards, creating engaging experiences that are memorable and enjoyable. By building that way, events rarely – if ever – miss their measurable goals.
How long have you been working with EAG?
Wow, it’s been almost seven years. My firm, Form Policy, began its relationship with EAG when I bought an Aston Martin. Their marketing director had just left, and I offered our services. We’ve had a great relationship since.
What was your favorite event that you organized for EAG?
It really has to be the James Bond premiere. We worked hard to make it a true Bond experience – undisclosed locations, costumes, bigger than life. It was the hottest ticket in town. I know some CEOs and VIPs diverted their travel to attend. The afterparty estate was incredible. The host was incredibly gracious. We’ve put together some incredible events for the dealership, but that one will be hard to top.
What other companies and brands have you worked with?
I am not completely at liberty to disclose the other brands we work with, as we focus on luxury spaces, expanding clients in narrow market spaces, and also charity work. We did help take a luxury brand into a national brick and mortar last year. We were successful enough that they replaced their marketing department with our team halfway through the project. We also recently sat on a luxury marketing panel for Modern Luxury DC. We produce branding for a major national broadcaster, and we partnered with a national, well-known police and fire charity on a project last year.
What EAG events are coming up and can you tell us a little about each one?
The most anticipated is Valhalla. Aston Martin showed the car at Pebble Beach this year, and it is coming to the dealership. Everyone wants to – and should get a chance to – experience it in person. We teased the date on social media. If you missed it, go have a look. We hid it in a video. We are working on the final details, and invitations are going out now. There are others, but I think after reading that Valhalla is coming, no one will pay attention to the rest of what I share. 🙂
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Form Policy is a marketing strategy company. We find growth in tough market spaces and build innovative marketing platforms that deliver measurable results. We excel in taking on tough marketing challenges that other agencies can’t solve. We’re always happy to consult with any business, and often we can help make a significant impact.
“…next up is the hotly anticipated return of the Valhalla for a public event.”