Motor shows must evolve to stay relevant, says GlobalData

Following the opening of the 2021 Munich Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) motor show this week;

David Leggett, Automotive Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“For the traditional motor show format – show halls filled with the automotive manufacturers’ latest models and concepts – these are very tough times. The old days of must-exhibit and must-attend, for the vehicle makers, seem to be over.

“In the competition for share of marketing budgets, it is fairly obvious that motor shows have been losing out. There are other ways of getting your upcoming product noticed by media and in these days of online leaks, the big reveals at motor shows don’t quite have the impact they once did. The pandemic certainly hasn’t helped.

“However, that said, there is still an appetite for live events and seeing the latest products close-up. The tough challenge for the organizers of motor show events is to make them attractive propositions to attend and to exhibit at.

“Motor shows have to evolve to stay relevant and have a chance of surviving. The whole package must be compelling enough for people to want to see for themselves, have a day out that is complementary to a digital experience.

“For the media and trade visitors to shows, it’s also about critical mass in terms of what’s on show and who’s there.

“I believe there’s an evolutionary sweet spot somewhere – elements of which are evident in the success of the Goodwood Festival of Speed or last month’s British Motor Show in attracting large numbers of visitors. Finding that sweet spot, for motor shows like the IAA, will be a big challenge.”

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