The Future of Auto Shows

In the past few years, there has been a decline in the number of auto manufacturers participating in auto shows. Additionally, the overall climate surrounding these events has changed. Auto shows, like ones in the U.S. and abroad, have existed for more than 100 years, and they have consistently impacted our industry in positive ways.  So, why the decline?”

This Autoline Network video delves deep into this issue with auto industry experts, examining the impact of auto shows and where they are headed. Check out the takeaways beneath the video below.


The Current Scope

Attendance at auto shows is huge — 11 million people in the U.S. just last year.

Of those 11 million, three-quarters were in the market to buy a car, meaning 4.5 million were considering purchase decisions at the event(s). A year later, 3.4 million actually made the buy.  That said, why would a manufacturer leave an auto show?”

Auto companies are falling into a measurement trap. They’ve decided the number of leads that they collect at an auto show measures the value of the show.

One problem is that only one-third of the people who leave an auto show and make a buy are hand-raisers. In addition, the influence of an auto show lasts a year, not three months. Therefore, automakers are understating the value of the auto show.

The other issue is that automakers are taking the “show” out of the show in order to save money.

Different marketing approaches have emerged with technology and social media, and new auto industry leaders are trying to find new, different ways to advertise.

But when measuring all forms of communications, and when it comes to communicating technology, three methods stand out: auto shows, other events and PR.

With the increasing amounts of technology coming, auto shows should take on an even more important role than they have taken in the past.

Auto companies complain that the cost of auto shows is high and that customer acquisition is low. However, when measuring ROI, auto shows incrementally sold 908,000 cars industry-wide just last year.

There are two primary payoffs — one is selling cars to people who attended, and the other is a secondary flow of sales that occur through word-of-mouth and press.

The Future

Now is the time to reinvent the auto show and modernize it to include technology and the opportunity to engage millennials and others. This is especially true, since young folks who attend auto shows are the first adopters of new technology.

In order to fully appreciate and understand where we are going with the product, we have to touch it and feel it; hence the importance of auto shows.

Regional shows are a huge opportunity, because shopping is even greater in these shows than in international ones.

In conclusion, the importance and impact of auto shows continues to grow, as proven by the data and statistics discussed in this video. Now is an exciting time to not only participate in auto shows, but take them to a new level, offering authentic experiences and embracing emerging technology.