Chicago Auto Show Aims For Audience That Really Matters: Consumers – Forbes

Posted: Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Chicago’s upcoming auto show is putting fresh emphasis on its greatest traditional strength. Even as media attention has waxed and waned, the Chicago show has always been at the top of the charts when it comes to public attendance.

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Chicago auto show’s public opening day at McCormick Place in 2016. (Chicago show photo)

When the show opens to consumers on Saturday February 11, ticket holders will be able to use a mobile app that makes it much easier to navigate the show floor and obtain vehicle information.

That’s good news for the public but it’s also a bonus for the automakers, which spend huge sums on their auto show displays and are looking for a better return on their investment.

According to Dave Sloan, show general manager, 25 percent of tickets are sold on line so information on those consumers is already known. People who buy tickets at the show can register at kiosks or with product specialists.

“So from that point showgoers don’t have to give product specialists their names and numbers repeatedly,” says Sloan. “They can simply swipe their barcode. So the public’s interaction is much richer and the automakers get all kinds of information. It’s going to make leads much more valuable.”

Just how useful are auto shows for potential sales? Sloan says General Motors finds that of all the experiential events the automaker uses, leads from auto shows are five times more likely to result in a sale.

“And we know that 70 percent of the people who come to our show are going to be in the market for a car in the next 12 months,” Sloan adds.

As well as the show ticket enhancement, Chicago this year is adding 55,000 sq ft to automaker’s floorspace in McCormick Place. That comes on top of a 75,000 sq ft increase over the last two years.

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