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ASNA - The Auto Show Report
Volume Nine, Issue Six - June 2014
In This Issue:

Industry News
» Summer Meeting will be key networking, ideas event
» Adstrategies team remains laser-focused on helping increase attendance
» Study predicts serious capacity issue for vendor tooling
» Self-driving cars could be 4 years off, says Ghosn
» Ford looking at waste tomato fiber in 'green' push
» Fiat Chrysler signs up 86 Alfa Romeo dealers in U.S.
» VW may build SUV in Tennessee, not Mexico
» Senators push for hikes in gas, diesel fuel
» Top editor at Automobile magazine quits
» Brand logo advice: check before you print

Show Profiles
» Bethlehem: Show hummed like finely tuned engine
» Edmonton: Interest in trucks continues to grow
» Honolulu: Riding the wave of a remarkable recovery
» Kansas City: Jay Leno raises $100k in 3 minutes
» Minneapolis/St. Paul: Online sales drive attendance growth
» Montreal: Multi-story venue delivers unique experience
» New Orleans: For the first time in years, attendance is on the rise
» New York: Big Apple show shines as key industry showcase
» Philadelphia: Show continues to grow with Convention Center
» Salt Lake City: Weather cooperates, making for solid show
» Tulsa: Show 'rebirthed' after eyeing success in OKC

» Show Directory
» Credits/Contacts

Industry News

Summer Meeting will be key networking, ideas event

A veteran automotive journalist especially experienced in auto show coverage is joining this year's ASNA Summer Meeting as keynote speaker.

Nik J. Miles
Nik J. Miles, who only half-jokingly says he does his laundry in Portland, Ore., but "lives on Delta," will join a growing list of attendees, including ATAEs and representatives from automakers, exhibit companies and vendors.

The Summer Meeting, which is just around the corner (July 8-9), is being held at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif.

As is the case in previous years, Summer Meeting attendees will meet for receptions on both Tuesday and Wednesday, with an all-day gathering on Wednesday.

In his keynote, Miles will be focusing on the importance of social media in reaching both the general public and especially the journalistic community that helps to drive attendance at a show. He will also share some unique experiences regarding various auto shows he has attended.

Miles is president of United Council of Automotive Media, representing more than 400 automotive journalists throughout the country, as well as president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. With 32 years’ experience as a radio and TV host, and 12 years as an automotive journalist, he is seen on various TV station news outlets with his witty and informative automotive coverage twice a week.

Miles was an early adopter of digital media and has been part of the YouTube landscape since 2006. His work can be seen on iVeho.com (I Ride in Latin) and TestMiles.com. To date, he has created some 6,000 automotive reviews and stories.

Steve Bruyn
Steve Bruyn who runs Foresight Research, an organization specializing in gathering data about the effectiveness of specific auto shows throughout the country, will also be presenting at the part of the Summer Meeting dedicated to ATAE members.

Also at the July 9 morning sessions, a popular competition for the "best and worst" auto show ideas will be held.

Mike Gempp of the Philadelphia Auto Show will showcase a recipe for increasing the profit of an auto show program book.

Other presentations and roundtable discussions at the Summer Meeting will include those dealing with auto show insurance, ticket selling options, and the use of social media.

There will also be a panel discussion from OEMs present, an allied industry panel and a series of round table discussions, with Chris Adelmann of St. Louis moderating the discussion with smaller shows and Rod Alberts of the North American International Auto Show moderating a group of medium to larger shows.

Don't forget to bring questions for the manufacturers.

Summer Meeting Sponsors


Hyundai Motor America


Freeman Decorating



G. P. Johnson



General Motors

LA Auto Show

North American International Auto Show

Professional Detailers

Romanelli Event Services

St. Louis Auto Show



Fern Expo

Foresight Research

Gail & Rice


Productions Plus

ShowClix, Inc.

Viper Tradeshow Services


Interactive Ticketing

Nth Degree

Adstrategies team remains laser-focused on helping increase attendance
Curt Van Loon and staff bring 'Solve the Problem' mentality to the show floor

There's a sign, deliberately placed in a prominent place in the Easton, Maryland, offices of Adstrategies that owner Curt Van Loon says really says it all as far as describing what his firm does on a daily basis.

"Solve the problem."

Curt Van Loon
The marketing services company, founded in 1991 by Van Loon, now provides those "solving the problem" services for some 244 shows annually.

With a staff of 25, Van Loon began in the auto show business after a career in radio sales that lead to his media consulting business and soon thereafter an introduction to the team at what is now Motor Trend Auto Shows.

It's a relationship that continues even today.

"We learned very early on that we had a penchant for those kind of shows," says Van Loon.

Indeed, that enthusiasm for auto shows has carried through to the relationships Van Loon has been able to cultivate with show producers connected with Auto Shows of North America.

"ASNA is an organization we're very proud to associate with," notes Van Loon. "Getting together, formally or informally, is something that benefits everyone in this business. The idea of sharing our successes is just a natural and very important part of doing business in a world that's increasingly connected."

But before long, Adstrategies had also found itself going after other shows—among them those specializing in boats, motorcycles, and even those focused on log cabins, brides and computers.

With all that variety—remember those 244 shows done every year—Van Loon and his team have developed a well-tuned process for capturing the ideas that work well in one type of show environment for use in one or more of the others.

Some of that takes place in a weekly staff meeting that is nothing if not energetic in its atmopshere.

It's also part of the dynamic that Van Loon says has made Adstrategies one of the largest ad agencies that specializes in event marketing.

"We are into solving problems," says Van Loon. "That might seem like a strange statement to make but when we come on board with a client, we really tend to become ingrained. It's not what I would call a normal agency relationship; we become their 'marketing helper' department and if someone says 'hey, can you do this?' we're ready to step up to the plate."

That enthusiasm and sense of "getting it done" translates well into work as varied as production for radio and TV spots, anything to do with graphics and even the e-ticket system that Adstrategies has developed for use by clients for their shows.

Over the years, Van Loon has found himself embracing new technologies in a never-ending quest to ultimately bring show owners the one thing they most want when the doors open.

That one thing: Attendance.

"We are the 'department of attendance' at these events," says Van Loon. "Once we take on a show, we're in the family. The thing I get the most out of is being able to come into the room and tell them attendance was up."

The technology part of the equation has, of course, evolved over the years.

From the early use of computers and now tablets to the emphasis on social media and the analytics behind those various platforms, Van Loon and Adstrategies continue to keep current, although he's also quick to point out that there remain some basic similarities.

"At the heart of it, social media is another form of delivery," notes Van Loon. "It can be somewhat mystifying to some, especially when you get into the analytics, which is something we also do, but that's what we do with everything involving media—we demystify it for our clients."

Study predicts serious capacity issue for vendor tooling

A serious constraint to automotive growth will hit the North American automotive industry in just four years, according to a report co-authored by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association and Harbour Results Inc., based in Royal Oak, Mich. The entire value stream would be impacted by a gap between the $15.2 billion in vendor tooling capacity required by OEM customers and the available supply of only $9.25 billion. Vendor tooling, defined as that purchased by an OEM to be run in Tier 1 or Tier 2 facilities, accounts for an average $550 per vehicle at 2012 vehicle volume. Not acting, said Laurie Harbour, CEO of Harbour Results, could result in the business going to Asian and European suppliers.

Self-driving cars could be 4 years off, says Ghosn

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan, says a self-driving car could be on the highways of the world in just four years, but only if red tape doesn't get in the way. "The problem isn't technology," said Ghosn at a French Automobile Club event. "It's legislation, and the whole question of responsibility that goes with these cars moving around . . . and especially who is responsible once there is no longer anyone inside." So-called "pioneer" countries where autonomous vehicles could be operating include France, Japan and the United States. Ghosn predicts widespread commercialization starting across Europe in 2020.

Ford looking at waste tomato fiber in 'green' push

Henry Ford once used wood scraps from Model T production to make charcoal briquets, so it should be no surprise that the automaker is teaming up with Heinz in a plan that could turn dried tomato skins, a waste product from making ketchup, into wiring brackets or coin holders. "We're trying to make use of a by-product and get some renewable and recycled content into our vehicles, while at the same time reducing the weight," said Ellen Lee, a research specialist at Ford Plastics told Reuters. Another potential source of material for "eco parts" could be coconuts, the hard covering on grains of rice, dandelion roots and even trees.

Fiat Chrysler signs up 86 Alfa Romeo dealers in U.S.

Fiat Chrysler has announced its first group of U.S. dealers—all but three of them already selling the Fiat brand—for the sporty Alfa Romeo brand. The 86 dealers tapped (three of them now selling Maserati) will be offering a limited-edition Alfa Romeo 4C later this year, the first time new Alfa models have been sold in North America since 1996. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that even if Alfa Romeo misses sales targets said by some to be "too ambitious to be realistic," it will be much stronger than it is today. California has 12 of the new dealerships, with Texas coming in with 10 and Florida with nine. Four of the new stores will be in Canada.

VW may build SUV in Tennessee, not Mexico

A German newspaper, citing company sources, has reported that Volkswagen is nearing a decision that would see a new seven-seat crossover vehicle be produced in its Chattanooga, Tenn., plant rather than one it owns in Puebla, Mexico. VW, which wouldn't comment on the report, is said to have received tax breaks, staff training, free land and infrastructure upgrades worth about $300 million. In January the automaker unveiled plans to produce the SUV in North America, saying the move was a sign of renewed commitment to the market. At that time, Reuters had quoted a source familiar to the matter as saying VW was favoring the Tennesee plant.

Senators push for hikes in gas, diesel fuel

Two U.S. senators are suggesting the federal tax on gasoline and diesel fuel be raised by 12 cents a gallon, citing a potential drying up of a fund that currently pays for about half the country's transportation projects. The tax—currently 18.4 cents a gallon for gasoline; 24.4 cents a gallon for diesel—hasn't been changed since 1993. Senators Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennesee, and Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut are pushing for the increase, which would be phased in over two years, then tied to inflation for future increases.

Top editor at Automobile magazine quits

Jean Jennings, editor-in-chief of Automobile magazine (and one of the few female auto journalists in a top management position), has quit as part of a reorganization by its publisher, Source Interlink. Some 75 employees in Michigan and Florida are losing their jobs, with key components of the editorial operations moving from Ann Arbor to Los Angeles, although some Automobile employees will remain in a Royal Oak, Mich., office. Jennings helped start Automobile nearly 30 years ago.

Brand logo advice: check before you print

Auto shows would be well-advised to add one more item to their pre-show checklist: make sure brand logos are up to date before spending time and money printing signs, ads or other expensive materials. Exhibit managers are asking for a quick call or e-mail to be sure the most current logo is used. Note: dealers (as much as we love them) may not have current logos. Best to communicate with OEMs directly.

Show Profiles

Bethlehem: Show hummed like finely tuned engine

Sometimes the opposite of exciting is good when it comes to the management of an auto show.

So it was this season with the Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show, headed by ATAE Tom Kwiatek.

"This was one of the smoothest shows I can remember," noted Kwiatek. "Everybody was happy and the attendance was solid."

A significant highlight came about with a partnership Kwiatek and his staff arranged with the Lehigh Valley Health Network, which was the beneciary of the auto show's 2013 Gala Event, a charity preview that's held on Wednesday night (doors open to the public on Thursday).

That Thursday evening is typically one of the slowest nights of the show, but inviting employees, friends and family of the health provider (as part of its annual Children's Health Safety Day) to a free night at the auto show changed all that—to the tune of some 10,000 visitors.

"It was packed that night," said Kwiatek.

The auto show also partnered with Pocono Raceway, which is less than an hour north of Bethlehem. A number of displays generated the kind of excitement Kwiatek says helped propel interest in the new vehicles that couldn't help but be noticed.

Organizing those vehicle displays is always important and Kwiatek and his group did it with the Luxury Pavilion, a section that they launched last year and repeated in 2014.

"We had 100 percent participation from our local dealers," noted Kwiatek of the "single point" dealerships who aren't always able to get support from their manufacturers (Philadelphia being only about an hour's drive south of Bethlehem).

"This is the audience those dealers are looking for," he added.

Kwiatek said several of the area dealers are new to the business and their reaction to the show—especially the noticeable uptick in traffic to their showrooms—was noteworthy.

"One of them is a new Subaru dealer and he said in 20 years he hasn't seen the kind of response after an auto show," added Kwiatek.

The dealer group continued its exit surveys, which measure the effectiveness of the show in a number of areas, including how product representatives feel about working the event.

"We were pretty much blown away by the positive results from that group," said Kwiatek. "But we also came away with a good number of suggestions that we intend to use to help us improve down the road."

Profile: Lehigh Valley Auto Show

March 20-23, 2014

Lehigh University Athletic Campus Buildings

Exhibit Space:
120,000 square feet

Adults (13 and over), $10; Seniors (65+); $7 Children (7-12) $7; Children 6 and under FREE.

Show Hours:
Thurs.-Sat., 10 am-9 pm; Sun., 10 am-6 pm.

Produced by:
Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Tom Kwiatek
Executive Director, Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Dealers Association
610.758.9691, tkwiatek@ptd.net

Show Website:

Edmonton: Interest in trucks continues to grow

When it comes to vehicles at the Edmonton Motorshow, the stars really are the trucks.

Pickups generally, but more to the point, work pickup trucks seem to be at the centerpiece of what is one of the most economically vibrant areas in Canada, fueled in particular by the petroleum sector, which includes the oil sands.

So who could wonder that ATAE Bob Vilas, executive director of the Edmonton Motor Dealers Association, took advantage of that enthusiasm this year, setting aside 35,000 square feet of space for a commercial zone with nothing but trucks.

"We had great participation among the manufacturers for this initiative," noted Vilas, who is clearly looking forward to a repeat performance next year.

But what came with the medium duty trucks and commercial vans was the exceptional knowledge of product specialists who were able to give a multitude of tradespeople exactly what they needed to make a buying decision.

"It's an Alberta thing," noted Vilas of the interest in the commercial vehicles that ply the area roads. "It's one of the first things you notice when you're here is just how many commercial-oriented vehicles there are on the road."

The Edmonton show also featured another 85,000 square feet of space devoted to automotive accessories.

And another 65,000 square feet set aside for collector cars.

"We even had a live auction going on," said Vilas. "There were about 120 cars and on Saturday alone we saw 90 of them sold."

Vilas has no intentions of easing up on the kind of innovations that drive shows like that at Edmonton.

"Next year, we'll very likely have something for fleet buyers," he added. "This is a show where we want to give people more and more of what they want. When we do, we know they'll be here."

Profile: Edmonton Motor Show

April 10-13, 2014

Edmonton Expo Centre

Exhibit Space:
500,000 square feet

Adults, $15; Advance adult, seniors, students, $13; Children under 6, FREE; Family pass (two children, two adults), $36.

Show Hours:
Thurs.-Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sun., 10 am-6 pm

Produced by:
Edmonton Motor Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Bob Vilas
Executive Director, Edmonton Motor Dealers Association
780.439.3974, bvilas@emdacars.com

Show Website:

Honolulu: Riding the wave of a remarkable recovery

It's hard to imagine just how dramatic the recovery of the automotive market in the Aloha state has been since the recession, but ATAE Dave Rolf remembers.

"We typically trail the mainland when it comes to downturns and subsequent recoveries," said Rolf, who runs the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association and oversees the First Hawaiian International Auto Show.

Now, Rolf is nothing short of effusive regarding the economic climate.

"Hawaii is making a tremendous economic recovery and we're riding the wave of that with our show," said Rolf, pointing to a whopping 20.5 percent increase in first quarter vehicle registrations (compared with 4.3 percent for the U.S. as a whole).

This season's show, which has in the past used the fact that Hawaii has the highest fuel costs in the nation as a point of emphasis, took a different angle—the pursuit of the dream car.

As a starting point, show consultant Curt Van Loon of Adstrategies was able to obtain rights to the song "Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Car," a late 80s hit by Billy Ocean.

Once that was done, an entire marketing campaign ensued.

"It's so catchy and so compelling, we really had a lot of fun with it," said Rolf of the initiative.

It also helped to bring in the crowds, with total attendance for the show up by 3.8 percent over last year.

A perennial repeat to the show is an honoring of Hawaii's Teacher of the Year, a celebration of the impact education has on the next generation (and a thank you to the winner in the form of a one-year vehicle lease).

The auto show gave away its 55th car at this year's event.

The First Hawaiian International Auto Show, besides having some of the best weather (and arguably the most consistent good weather) in the nation, also has one of the highest densities of visitor traffic.

"We had a packed show," said Rolf of this year's event. "One reason comes from transitioning from a four-day show to the current three-day format."

Ride and Drive are part of the auto show scene in Hawaii but Rolf said that dealing with what he calls "the worst place to be in traffic in America" can be a challenge in itself.

"You're in traffic from the moment you turn out of the convention center."

Profile: First Hawaiian International Auto Show

April 14-16, 2014

Hawai'i Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
200,000 square feet

Adults, $8; Seniors (62 plus), Students, Military, $6; Children 12 and younger, FREE.

Show Hours:
Friday, noon-10 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday, 10 am-7 pm

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
ATAE Dave Rolf,
Executive Director, Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association
808.593.0031, drolf@hawaiidealer.com

Show Website:

Kansas City: Jay Leno raises $100k in 3 minutes

ATAE Larry Carl had a pretty good idea that having a headliner appear at the Charity Gala for the Kansas City International Auto Show would bring some positive attention to an already jam-packed show.

He wasn't disappointed.

When Jay Leno, freshly off his hosting duties on the Tonight Show, agreed to do a 75-minute standup performance at the event, he also brought some pretty amazing fundraising abilities, raising $100,000 for the Children's Mercy Hospital in just three minutes.

"Jay had already set a price of $2,500 each for a private tour of his Big Dog Garage in Burbank and almost right away we had 40 hands going up," noted Carl, who heads the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City.

Adding to the excitement generated was having Leno driven to and from the stage in a mint condition 1930 Chrysler 77 that was later put on display during the auto show.

But the momentum and buzz from Jay Leno carried over for the duration of the show, generating an 8 percent increase in attendance compared with last year and a 25 percent gain over 2012.

Even more important from a dealer perspective is the impact the show had on showroom traffic with an immediate jump (and a 12.4 percent increase in vehicle registrations for March and April compared with the year before).

As Carl explained, the charity event fit nicely with the dealer group's "driving force" campaign, creating a level of energy that carried right through the auto show.

"We saw a very strong engagement of people attending," he said. "They were there for a purpose, which was to get their hands on the cars we were showing. And the results speak for themselves."

Carl said strong manufacturer participation also added to this year's success, something he expects will carry forward as the show continues to grow.

Profile: Greater Kansas City International Auto Show

March 5-9, 2014

Bartle Hall/Kansas City Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
300,000 square feet

Adults (13 and over), $11; Children (8-12), $6; Military (with ID) and Children 7 and under, FREE

Show Hours:
Wed., 5 pm-10 pm; Thurs.-Sat.: 10 am-10 pm; Sun.: 10 am-6 pm

Produced by:
Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City

Show Contact:
ATAE Larry Carl
CEO, Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City
913.345.8970, lcarl@adakc.com

Show Website:

Minneapolis/St. Paul: Online sales drive attendance growth

When ATAE Scott Lambert thinks about highlights, his first reaction is to recall the 50 percent increase in attendance the Twin Cities Auto Show has experienced in the last five years.

That's when Lambert, who also runs the state's dealer association, took over show management on the retirement of his predecessor.

One of the signficant reasons for the steady increase over that time (attendance was up 7 percent from last year) is the move to online ticket sales, said Lambert.

There's also been an effort to beef up the event in a number of key areas.

"We've worked very hard at the front end of the show, with our own greeters, having a spokesperson for the show at the front gate and generally making the event a friendly, welcoming place to be," he said.

Lambert has also made a consistent push when it comes to social media presence. Plus his dealers are much more engaged when it comes to the marketing of the show.

A very popular event this year was an appearance by Laura Marano, star of the Disney Channel's Austin & Alley program.

"She drew in a lot of people," noted Lambert.

But when it comes to sports celebritities, well, Lambert has other thoughts.

"We've decided that they don't really do anything for attendance. It takes a lot of work, a lot of logistical work, and I don’t think we sell any more tickets."

What remains a consistently popular draw are events like Camp Jeep and other Ride and Drives that remain part of the Twin Cities Auto Show experience.

"March is still a little chilly in Minneapolis, but the Ride and Drives still work for us."

Having a segmented area for luxury cars is also one of the more popular points of interest.

"There are only 16 vehicles shown but they are very high-end cars, all supplied by local dealers," said Lambert.

The show also features a popular classic car display that Lambert said will remain a mainstay for future auto shows.

And because people love to eat, adding food trucks to the auto show floor was a big hit with attendees.

"We'll definitely be doing that again next year," said Lambert.

Profile: Twin Cities Auto Show

March 8-16, 2014

Minneapolis Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
366,053 square feet

$10, Adults; $10; Junior (age 11-15), $5; Children under 10, FREE

Sat.: 10 am-10 pm; Sun.: 10 am-7 pm; Mon., Tues., Thurs.: 4 pm-10 pm; Wed., Fri.: 10 am-10 pm.

Produced by:
Greater Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association of Minnesota, Inc.

Show Contact:
ATAE Scott Lambert
651.291.2400, lambert@mada.org

Show Website:

Montreal: Multi-story venue delivers unique experience

It's a good time to be an auto dealer in Montreal, the largest city in the Canadian province of Quebec that, like most places in North America, is experiencing a major resurgence in the automobile industry.

For Luis Pereira, who manages the Montreal International Auto Show (owned by the Montreal Automobile Dealers Association), this year's event was a continuation of that good news story, with attendance up by 7 percent.

"People are obviously buying cars," said Pereira. "Sales are generally very good in Quebec, especially among the most popular brands, which are the compact cars."

The show's venue, the Palais de Congres de Montreal, is a multi-level building—that in itself making the event a little different than most other shows throughout North America.

"We are on three levels, floors 7, 5 and 2," noted Pereira. "People start on the 7th floor and the traffic flow winds down through 5 and ends on 2 through a series of elevators and escalators."

That configuration gives organizers the freedom and flexibility to create several areas specializing in different types of vehicles, including performance and high-end luxury vehicles, including Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and Bentley.

One notable standout was the Felino CB7, a "made in Quebec" supercar built by Antoine Bessette, a former race driver. The vehicle, which took four years to develop, made its debut at the auto show.

"It makes you think of the Batmobile," said Pereira of the vehicle, which was "purpose built for the track" while holding at least the possibility of being street legal.

Even though weather in Montreal can play havoc with attendance at the show, Pereira said having the subway system available to bring show goers right to the doors of the venue is a major benefit.

"People can walk throughout the downtown and not even have to go outside."

Profile: Montreal International Auto Show

Jan. 20-24, 2014

Palais de Congres de Montreal

Exhibit Space:
375,000 square feet

Adults (over 12), $15; Seniors (65 plus), students $12; Children (6-12), $5; Children under 6, FREE; Family package, $35.

Show Hours:
10 am-10 pm (closing at 7 pm last day of show)

Produced by:
Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation

Show Contact:
Luis Pereira
Executive Director of the Montreal International Auto Show
514.331.6571 ext. 228, l.pereira@ccam.qc.ca
ATAE Denis Dessureault
Executive Vice President, Montreal Automobile Dealers Corporation

Show Website:

New Orleans: For the first time in years, attendance is on the rise

It's coming up on nine years since Hurricane Katrina left 80 percent of New Orleans under water and no one better understands the impact that event had on the economy of the area than ATAE Jeffrie Schultis Fricke, executive vice president of the Greater New Orleans New Car Dealers Association.

Today, the event she helps organize, the Greater New Orleans International Auto Show, is evidence that the city is coming back, albeit slowly.

"We were very happy with an attendance bump of about 9 percent this year," said Schultis Fricke.

Considering the population of the area from which the auto show draws has yet to reach its pre-Katrina levels, that's good news indeed.

Schultis Fricke said a number of factors in New Orleans are reason enough for optimism.

"We have younger people moving here and there's an expectation that even more will come as the result of a new bio-medical hub being built," she said.

That and other growth factors are helping the auto dealer community.

"They are doing very well," said Schultis Fricke.

At this year's auto show, that bump in attendance shouldn't be overlooked for its significance.

"People say 'how are you still talking about Katrina?' but this past year was the first time in some years where we've seen an increase in attendance. It's taken us years and the region still hasn't fully recovered."

Schultis Fricke said strong manufacturer support for the auto show has certainly been a factor in generating sustained interest in the event.

"We take our hats off to those who have stood with us," she added.

Profile: Greater New Orleans International Auto Show

March 21-23, 2014

Morial Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
290,000 square feet
Adults; $9; Seniors, Military, Ages 12-17, $5; Children 12, FREE

Show Hours:
Fri., 3 pm-9 pm; Sat., 10 am-9 pm; Sun., 11 am-6 pm.

Produced by:
Greater New Orleans New Car Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Jeffrie Schultis Fricke
Executive Director, Greater New Orleans New Car Dealers Association
504.831.8863, neworleansautoshow@ymail.com

Show Website:

New York: Big Apple show shines as key industry showcase

Sometimes a surprise or two is a good thing.

For ATAE Mark Schienberg, whose New York International Auto Show has earned a reputation as being one of the key global events of its type, "amazingly pleasing" are two words that come to mind.

And that's not because Schienberg has been disappointed in previous years.

Indeed, in 2012 the event was one of the largest auto shows ever seen in the Big Apple (and that in a time when the economy was "creeping along").

The next year remained strong, so a third year in a row?

"The fact is, we did beat the numbers, even when we thought it would be a challenge to outdo ourselves," said Schienberg.

We're not talking great strides in attendance increases. But increasingly it's about who actually comes through the gate.

In the case of New York, well-crafted exit surveys indicate a growing percentage of show goers are actually those who have every intention of making a purchase in the next 12 months.

In the most recent show, some 60 percent put themselves in that category, up from more than 50 percent in 2013 and 48 percent the year before.

Those numbers are not being lost on people like Mark Schienberg.

"We're continuing to concentrate our efforts to ensure this is a show where people actually come and do the homework they need before they buy their next vehicle."

Industry observers are also taking note of the show's success, notably EXPO Magazine, which bestowed three E.X.C.I.T.E awards—the most for any nominee—including Best Overall Show, Best Consumer Event, and Best Marketing Collateral.

Schienberg said the EXPO Magazine awards validate the efforts he and his team continue to make in "making the experience of our visitors, exhibitors and sponsors the best they can be."

Those efforts include a sustained strategy built around the use of social media.

Beginning at least five years ago, the show has built up a team of specialists and, significantly, works throughout the year on building key relationships with people they know will attend.

"Having that kind of strategy and building the relationships we work on allows us to grow and expand our efforts, especially when it comes to adding new social networking platforms when it makes sense," said Schienberg.

And then there's the show itself, which as Schienberg said, is a "hybrid"—referring to its importance from an industry perspective as well as a public spectacle.

Notable examples of the industry pull include the World Traffic Safety Symposium (on Friday, April 25) and the 2014 Automotive Forum, which was sponsored by the auto show, the National Automobile Dealers Association and J.D. Power & Associates.

More than 500 attended the event, where Mary Barra of GM made one of her first appearances as the automaker's CEO.

Schienberg also pointed to a strong showing from media, who were there covering the 63 world and North American vehicle debuts.

Public days included three Ride and Drives, including Camp Jeep (a perennial favorite), along with an Electric Ride and Drive, and a third featuring a Toyota fuel cell vehicle.

Schienberg said evidence continues to grow that many show goers are doing pre-planning to maximize the effectiveness of their research into their next purchase, which is reflected in attendance numbers and exit surveys.

"We'll be using that information to add to our website, helping people to make next year's experience an even greater one."

Profile: New York International Auto Show

April 18-27, 2014

Jacob Javits Center

Exhibit Space:
930,000 square feet

Adults, $15; Children (under 12), $5

Show Hours:
Mon.-Sat., 10 am-10 pm; Sundays, 10 am-7 pm.

Produced by:
Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association

Show Contact:
ATAE Mark Schienberg
President, Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association
718.746.5900, mark@gnyada.com

Show Website:

Philadelphia: Show continues to grow with Convention Center

Mike Gempp is in an expansive mood as far as the Philadelphia Auto Show is concerned.

The auto show manager said a newly expanded Philadelphia Convention Center presented the Philadelphia Auto Dealers Association, led by ATAE Kevin Mazzucola, with an opportunity to grow substantially, beginning in 2012.

That was the first year the expanded venue was available to the auto show and Gempp jumped at the chance.

"By the following year, we filled the place, finding a way to occupy an additional 150,000 square feet," he added.

As a result, the show now hosts two indoor Ride and Drive events (featuring Toyota and Camp Jeep) along with five outdoor Ride and Drives.

That phenemonon shows no signs of getting old.

"Every year we see more and more attendees taking advantage of the opportunity," said Gempp. "Even though the weather was an issue at times, it remained busy."

The show's annual Black Tie Tailgate this year raised $447,773 for the Division of Neonatology at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Having the expanded show facility available has, according to an exit survey made a significant positive difference to the show.

"It's given us a much better show," said Gempp, who points to ratings for vehicle displays and exhibits that are very strong.

Exit survey details include an uptick in the percentage of attendees who said they intend to purchase a vehicle in the next year—40 percent compared to last year's 30 percent.

Interestingly, a follow-up to last year's attendees (the 30 percent who said they were in the market) actually translated into 46 percent who had made a purchase.

But those numbers haven't stopped Gempp and his team from working hard to be even better.

"There's a lot of things we're doing to keep getting better at what we do," he added. "And we want to maintain that momentum."

One external change that is sure to ultimately work its way down to the show floor is the new building management team that took over recently along with a new union customer satisfaction agreement that Gempp said is almost certainly going to improve the overall experience for exhibitors.

"We're really excited with what the building management team is bringing to the table," said Gempp. "They've really proven their worth in the short time they've been here so far."

Profile: Philadelphia International Auto Show

February 8-16, 2014

Pennsylvania Convention Center

Exhibit Space:
Over 650,000 square feet

$12, Adults; $9, Military; $6, Seniors (62+ weekdays only); $6, Children (7-12); FREE, Children 6 and under.

Show Hours:
Saturdays, 9 am-10 pm; Sundays, 9 am-8 pm; Weekdays, Noon-10 pm

Produced by:
Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia

Show Contacts:
ATAE Kevin Mazzucola
Executive Director, Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia
610.279.5229, mazz@adagp.com

Mike Gempp
Auto Show Director, Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia
610.279.5229, mike@phillyautoshow.com

Show Website:

Salt Lake City: Weather cooperates, making for solid show

It was "Goldilocks" weather in Salt Lake City around the time of the Utah International Auto Show—especially the "not too cold" part that might have kept people away.

And from the perspective of ATAE Craig Bickmore, who heads the Utah Automobile Dealers Association, that's a good thing.

"We had phenomenal weather," noted Bickmore, who said the show was one of the best in recent memory.

"Everything just seemed to click for us," he added. "We were in sync and everything came together for us."

Specifically, Bickmore said strong support from local media—combined with an effective media buy—was at least in part responsible for driving attendance, which was up over last year.

A number of show highlights were also key from Bickmore's perspective, one of those being a display of vehicles by Miller Motor Sports Park, located about 35 minutes from Salt Lake City.

The Utah Four-Wheel Drive Association also came on board with an off-road display, including a Jeep vehicle that was mocked up with replica M80 artillery.

And the Utah Stangs, a Mustang enthusiasts group, brought some of their vehicles to share with the crowds.

Bickmore added that strong participation from manufacturers continued to drive interest in the auto show, which obviously is reflected at dealer showrooms.

"The market is great and business is good."

Profile: Utah International Auto Show Expo

January 17-20, 2014

South Towne Expo Center

Exhibit Space:
290,000 square feet
Adults, $10; Seniors and Military, $6; FREE, Children 12 and under on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Show Hours:
Friday, 11 am-10 pm; Saturday, 10 am-10 pm; Sunday & Monday 10 am – 8 pm

Produced by:
Motor Trend Auto Shows

Show Contact:
ATAE Craig Bickmore
Executive Director
The New Car Dealers of Utah
801.484.8845, craigb@uada.com

Show Website:

Tulsa: Show 'rebirthed' after eyeing success in OKC

The first five minutes or so of a conversation we had with ATAE Peter Hodges was about how best to explain what could safely be called a phenomenal response from both members of the public and the dealer community in a city about 90 minutes' drive from Oklahoma City.

We're talking Tulsa, Oklahoma, and specifically what we'll call a "rebirthed" Tulsa Auto Show, made possible after a group of dealers approached Hodges and the Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association.

What happened next was what Hodges said he hoped would happen when he and his team put in place the energy, commitment and, more to the point, marketing steps that have made the auto show in Oklahoma City as successful as it continues to be.

And now they've done the same in Tulsa.

Comments from dealers, their salespeople and the product specialists who were there were nothing short of effusive.

"The reaction of the dealers who came to the show on Saturday was typical: they said they'd never seen that many people in the past seven years," said Hodges.

Yes, there had been an auto show in previous years. Just not at the level that members of the Tulsa dealer group knew they should be able to expect with a little help from their friends down the road in Oklahoma City.

Hodges, then, was contracted to run the Tulsa Auto Show.

"We basically replicated the success of the Oklahoma City show by building strong relationships with media outlets, building partnerships, and creating the kind of events that we know drive attendance to an event like this," said Hodges.

Those events included features like the AT&T "It Can Wait" distracted driving simulator, an "Auto Show for Kids" area that included a playzolne with giant slide and obstacle course (as well as giveaways of Lego Movie figurines), and even appearances by Dora and Diego as well as Spider-Man.

Hodges also added discount days for members of the military and senior citizens, both of which helped drive attendance.

There was also a display of classic cars and a Natural Gas Vehicle exhibit.

The rejuvenated Tulsa Auto Show also created discount coupon programs at Arby's, Mathis Brothers (a furniture store) as well as with dealers and the Reasor's grocery store chain.

Hodges may have been surprised by the results but perhaps he really shouldn't have been, given the comments that one dealer made:

"I couldn't turn on the TV or radio without hearing an auto show ad."

Profile: Tulsa Auto Show

April 11-13, 2014

Expo Square

Exhibit Space:
140,000 square feet
Adults, $8; Children (7-12), $4, Children under 6, FREE

Show Hours:
Friday and Saturday, 10 am-9 pm; Sunday, 10 am-6 pm.

Produced by:
Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association (Oklahoma City)

Show Contact:
ATAE Peter Hodges
Executive Director, Metropolitan Auto Dealers Association
405.778.6265, madapeter@coxinet.net

Show Website:

Show Directory

Albany Auto Show
3/7/2014 - 3/9/2014

Albany Empire State Plaza Auto Show
11/7/2014 - 11/9/2014

New Mexico International Auto Show
4/17/2015 - 4/19/2015

Orange County Auto Show
10/2/2014 - 10/5/2014

Atlanta International Auto Show
3/25/2015 - 3/29/2015

Austin Auto Show
5/16/2014 - 5/18/2014

Motor Trend International Auto Show—Baltimore
1/1/2015 - 1/4/2015

Bedford, NH
New Hampshire Auto Show
10/24/2014 - 10/26/2014

Bethlehem, PA
Greater Lehigh Valley Auto Show
3/20/2014 - 3/23/2014

Alabama International Auto Show
11/13/2014 - 11/16/2014

New England International Auto Show
1/15/2015 - 1/19/2015

Buffalo Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/8/2015

Calgary International Auto & Truck Show
3/12/2014 - 3/16/2014

West Virginia International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/18/2015

Charlotte International Auto Show
11/20/2014 - 11/23/2014

Chicago Auto Show
2/14/2015 - 2/22/2015

Cincinnati Auto Expo
2/18/2015 - 2/22/2015

Cleveland Auto Show
3/7/2015 - 3/15/2015

Columbus International Auto Show
3/19/2015 - 3/22/2015

DFW Auto Show in Dallas
3/25/2015 - 3/29/2015

Iowa/Illinois Regional Auto Show
2/6/2015 - 2/8/2015

Dayton Auto Show
2/19/2015 - 2/22/2015

Denver Auto Show
4/9/2014 - 4/13/2014

North American International Auto Show
1/17/2015 - 1/25/2015

Edmonton Motor Show
4/10/2014 - 4/13/2014

Fort Worth
DFW Auto Show in Fort Worth
11/6/2014 - 11/9/2014

Central California Auto Show
11/14/2014 - 11/16/2014

South Carolina International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/18/2015

Harrisburg, PA
Pennsylvania Auto Show
1/29/2015 - 2/1/2015

Connecticut International Auto Show
11/21/2014 - 11/23/2014

First Hawaiian International Auto Show
3/13/2015 - 3/15/2015

Houston Auto Show
1/21/2015 - 1/25/2015

Indianapolis Auto Show
12/26/2014 - 1/1/2015

Kansas City
Kansas City International Auto Show
3/4/2015 - 3/8/2015

Las Vegas
Las Vegas International Auto Show
11/28/2014 - 11/30/2014

Long Beach
So Cal Test Drive Expo
4/26/2014 - 4/27/2014

Los Angeles
Los Angeles Auto Show
11/21/2014 - 11/30/2014

Louisville Auto Show
1/30/2015 - 2/1/2015

Miami International Auto Show
11/7/2014 - 11/16/2014

Greater Milwaukee International Auto Show
2/21/2015 - 3/1/2015

Minneapolis/St. Paul
Twin Cities Auto Show
3/7/2015 - 3/15/2015

Montreal International Auto Show
1/16/2015 - 1/25/2015

New Orleans
Greater New Orleans International Auto Show
3/20/2015 - 3/22/2015

New York
New York International Auto Show
4/3/2015 - 4/12/2015

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City International Auto Show
3/6/2014 - 3/9/2014

Oklahoma City
Oklahoma State Fair Auto Show
9/11/2014 - 9/21/2014

Midlands International Auto Show
1/22/2015 - 1/25/2015

Central Florida International Auto Show
11/27/2014 - 11/30/2014

Philadelphia International Auto Show
1/31/2015 - 2/8/2015

Arizona International Auto Show
11/27/2014 - 11/30/2014

Pittsburgh International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/16/2015

Portland International Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/8/2015

Northeast International Auto Show
2/6/2015 - 2/8/2015

Virginia Motor Trend International Auto Show
3/20/2015 - 3/22/2015

Rochester International Auto Show
2/26/2015 - 3/1/2015

Sacramento International Auto Show
10/17/2014 - 10/19/2014

Saint Louis
Saint Louis International Auto Show
1/22/2015 - 1/25/2015

Salt Lake City
Utah International Auto Expo
1/16/2015 - 1/19/2015

San Antonio
San Antonio Auto & Truck Show
11/20/2014 - 11/23/2014

San Diego
San Diego International Auto Show
1/1/2015 - 1/4/2015

San Jose
Silicon Valley International Auto Show
1/8/2015 - 1/11/2015

Seattle International Auto Show
10/15/2014 - 10/19/2014

Spokane International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/15/2015

Tampa Bay International Auto Show
11/14/2014 - 11/16/2014

Greater Toledo Auto Show
2/5/2015 - 2/18/2015

Canadian International Auto Show
2/13/2015 - 2/22/2015

Tulsa Auto Show
4/11/2014 - 4/13/2014

Vancouver International Auto Show
3/25/2014 - 3/30/2014

Washington Auto Show
1/23/2015 - 2/1/2015


Automotive Trade Association Executives

8400 Westpark Drive
McLean, VA 22102

Bob Israel
ATAE Chairman

Jennifer Colman
ATAE Executive Director

ASNA Committee

Greg Remensperger, committee chair
Portland International Auto Show

Rod Alberts
North American International Auto Show

Loretta Allman
Charlotte International Auto Show

Stacey Castle
Sacramento International Auto Show

Mark Schienberg
New York International Auto Show

Loy Todd
Nebraska New Car & Truck Association

Lou Vitantonio
Cleveland Auto Show

Steve Smith
Of Counsel for ASNA Summer Meeting
Silicon Valley International Auto Show

The Auto Show Report

Joe Rohatynski, senior editor

J.D. Booth, writer

Marc Harlow, writer

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