News & Events

Chicago Auto Show Beacon Program Connects Consumers with Exhibitors


Contact: Mark Bilek
Senior Director of Communications and Technology
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6082
Cell: (847) 652-0632

Contact: Jennifer Morand
Director of Public Relations and Social Media
Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Office: (630) 424-6084
Cell: (630) 391-1986



CHICAGO (December 9, 2015) – According to leading auto show marketing agency eshots, auto shows nationwide can better connect attendees with exhibitors. In fact, eshots estimates that as many as 100,000 leads are lost at a major show like Chicago because consumers are unwilling or afraid to interact with exhibitors.  The Chicago Auto Show wants to rectify this situation.

For 2016, the show is offering a comprehensive beacon messaging program that will allow showgoers to seamlessly interact with exhibitors in an innovative and exciting way. Taking advantage of its popular official smartphone app, the Chicago Auto Show will allow exhibitors to message attendees as they consume the show, in particular, when they spend time inside and around key vehicles. For example, BMW can place a beacon inside its new 7-Series that will send an electronic message to attendees, asking them if they would like more information or want to register for a test drive at a local BMW dealer.

“The Chicago Auto Show is the only major show in the nation that offers free WiFi and a compelling smartphone app to its attendees,” said 2016 Chicago Show Chairman Colin Wickstrom. “It’s only logical that we use these two technologies to enhance the experience for people at the show and to add value for our exhibitors.”

After a successful pilot program last year, the Chicago Auto Show is rolling out this attendee beacon and messaging platform to all exhibitors. Partnering with American Eagle, Chicago Auto Show app developer, and Footmarks, a mobile proximity marketing solution, the show will place Bluetooth Low-Energy beacons across the show floor. The beacons will collect footfall traffic information (including anonymous proximity data, dwell time, return rate and path information) and message attendees.

For more information on the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, please visit    


About the Chicago Auto Show
The Chicago Auto Show is the largest auto show on the continent, spanning more than 1 million square feet of production, concept, and exotic vehicle exhibit space. In addition to hosting multiple world and North America vehicle debuts, the Chicago Auto Show's First Look for Charity raises more than $2 million annually for 18 vital Chicago organizations in a single night. The 2016 public show will be February 13-21. For more information, visit or

About The Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It is comprised of more than 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group's dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit

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