As I’ve prepped for the Chicago Auto Show the last couple weeks the realization that I’ve been attending for more years than a millennial’s life span has caused me to pause…
I’ve been looking forward to this week for months now. Ignoring the weather forecast takes mettle, but I do it. I will board the Amtrak with confidence that it won’t be cancelled due to weather and I’m off. Sorry Tom Skilling, you’re dead to me for ten days in February. Now Harry Volkman, he was hard to deny…but I digress…
Reasons why…hmmmmm…for me they are easy:
1. It’s fun. 2. It’s organized. 3. It’s relevant.
Fun, it’s a relative term. Fun is different for every person. My definition of fun is doing something that brings a smile to my face or leap in my heart. It can include the words, thrill, excitement, contentment, tradition, and/or joy. Sounds strange to use those words to describe a car show, but its true for me.
Seeing those sparkling beauties for the first time sparks thrills. Some have never been seen, their reveal reserved for a large media audience so the world can get a glimpse all at once. No embargo here…social media will be a frenzy. Modern day journalists and attendees alike can use #CAS19 to file all the pics in one place. Excitement and anticipation aren’t hard to find, especially at media days.
Many auto show venues have undergone revitalization and McCormick Place follows suit. I remember shows at the “Old” McCormick Place where media and some special attendees were in a crow’s nest up above the floor for a bird’s-eye view of Lake Michigan (as well as the auto show) out the large windows…those were the days. The “New” space boasts airy north and south halls connected by a massive corridor fit for the large crowds that spend time here every year. See the 2019 map below…
Making sure that media, attendees and manufacturers are served the Chicago Automobile Trade Association takes the helm. The executive board, seen below, and hundreds of others have worked tirelessly to bring an experience that is organized and professional.
Chairman of the Chicago Auto Show, Ray Scarpelli, Jr. (center right) states “The Chicago Auto Show is a consumer-driven show, and it’s our promise to offer visitors unfettered access to the latest and greatest from the auto industry including nearly 1,000 cars, trucks and SUVs on display, four indoor test track experiences, six outdoor ride-and-drive opportunities and engagement with cutting-edge technology that’s transforming not only the industry, but affecting our everyday lives. Additionally, show attendees will be among the first to see approximately 20 brand-new vehicles that will be unveiled during the show’s 2019 Media Preview.”
Theme days are always popular with the masses as well. Women’s Day – Feb. 12, CAS Food Drive – Feb. 13, Telemundo Hispanic Heritage Day – Feb. 15, Family Day – Feb. 18 (complete with pet adoptions) and last but not least the Chicago Friday Night Flights on Friday Feb. 15, produced by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild and Choose Chicago and Chicago Concierge.
More than 50 million dollars has been raised over the years from the First Look For Charity event, held this year on Friday, February 8th. Tickets are available on the Chicago Auto Show website, click here. Proceeds will benefit 18 non-profits this year, see the website above for a list.
So with all that said…the fun to be had and the ultimate organization in hand…
Relevant. WE all want to be it and see it. Without purpose things seem frivolous. Spending just a minute of time to take in all of the fun and organized events mentioned above brings relevance to this show and others.
Manufacturers get a chance to tout their wares in front of captive audiences who choose to attend. Landing buyers, as the Chicago Auto Show’s history shows, is easier as they come to the show to scout out their next car.
For consumers, the atmosphere lends itself to asking questions and experiencing the cars themselves. Sit in them, tour the ride experiences, etc. See new features and concepts in action that might have been a just a concept from Star Trek or Star Wars a few years ago.
“Auto Show – Why Go?”
Go for the fun.
Go for the events.
Go for the cars.
Most of all…just go.
24 hours and counting…
*Don’t forget to tune in to my social media pages Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for updates starting tomorrow. Click on icons at the top of this post to reach them.
**Additionally, I’ll be posting some impressions on my mini-podcast channel, JulesOnWheelz, on Chirp. Click here for my 2018 CAS recording.
***A continuous live-stream can be found here as well.