David Sloan, general manager of the Chicago Auto Show, has always taken immense pride in the fact that the nation’s largest auto show calls Chicagoland home. And this year it’s even bigger.
“We have added 45,000 square feet of manufacturer display space this year,” Sloan says. “That’s in addition to the million square feet plus of floor space dedicated to the show. Now visitors will be able to see more than 1,000 vehicles on display.”
The 109th annual show will once again be held at McCormick Place for ten days, Feb. 11-20. The dates include two weekends, Valentine’s Day, and Presidents Day.
This year’s theme is “Celebrate the Automobile,” according to Sloan.
“The Chicago Auto Show is a celebration,” Sloan explains. “This particular show is extremely important to the automakers. Our research shows that 65 percent of the attendees plan to purchase in the next 12 months. Attendees use the CAS as their litmus test.”
As a result, the automakers and the CAS combine efforts to ensure no stone is unturned when it comes to information about the kind of make and model that gets your engine revving.
The result is “epass.”
CAS17 is partnering with eshots, inc., an experiential marketing specialist, to offer epass at this year’s show. Epass enables attendees to share contact information, request vehicle data, enter contests and register for activities in a seamless and secure way. Epass is incorporated into the show’s ticket, and registering is as simple as entering your name, email address and ZIP code.
“Leveraging four indoor test tracks, six outdoor test drives, segment-leading social media and mobile app activations, free show-floor WiFi and unmatched exhibit space, the Chicago Auto Show is a perfect fit for epass,” says show chairman Mike McGrath. “Automakers make a big splash in Chicago because they know it delivers more consumers than any other show. The epass system will make it extremely easy for attendees to receive information from the car companies.”
With integration into the show’s website and official mobile app, the epass experience extends beyond the show floor. Visitors to the show’s website or mobile app can connect directly with manufacturers to request more information on specific vehicles, making their experience at the show more beneficial.
“With epass, we’ve solved one of the major issues facing auto shows—attendee fatigue,” explains Craig Steensma, CEO of eshots. “By allowing attendees to register a single time, before or at the event, we can reduce the frequency and time needed to request vehicle info, enter contests or interact with dozens of auto brands at the show. Combine this streamlined registration process with beacon-based mobile app messaging and we’ve set the stage for the next generation of auto show experiences.”
For the gearhead in you, CAS17 has added another indoor test track for your trial drive. That makes four tracks—the most of any U.S. auto show.
Highlights will include an emphasis on SUVs and trucks. With fuel prices hovering well below $3 per gallon, the popularity of the big boys is soaring.
The National Automobile Dealers Association announced that 2016 auto sales of $17.55 million broke the 2015 record of $17.47 million. With so many new models, upgrades and improved technology, 2017 is predicted to be another banner year. So get your motor runnin’ at McCormick Place, Feb. 11-20.
Find all the details at ChicagoAutoShow.com.