News & Events

Chicago Auto Show Rebrands Social Media Preview as #SMP13

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA), producer of the Chicago Auto Show, rebrands the second day of its two-day Media Preview a more Twitter-friendly #SMP13. Now in its third year, the show's Social Media Preview will be more accessible to a broader audience and boasts a robust schedule of events that cater to social-media savvy influencers.

For the past two years, manufacturers, exhibitors and media outlets have taken advantage of the second day of the media preview to host press and marketing events geared directly toward the buying public - particularly those active in the social media space. Last year Toyota announced its 100 Cars for Good program and Nissan unleashed the refreshed 2013 370Z. That tradition will continue as exhibitors are again welcome - and encouraged - to invite up to 300 of their followers, influencers and advocates to attend their program or event at #SMP13. 

This year, show organizers have added structured events to the day including the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Driving Engagement Awards, Technori Pitch and automotive roundtables hosted by Autoweek, and Edmunds.

In the past, attendees of the Social Media Preview have included traditional print, broadcast and online media as well as individuals invited by exhibitors. This year, the Chicago Auto Show is working with Groupon to identify influential social media advocates. Though the #SPM13  is not open to the public, Groupon will offer an exclusive ticket to this select group of digital-savvy influencers in the Chicago area.

"Chicago Auto Show exhibitors see great value in our Social Media Preview," said Michael Ettleson, Chicago Auto Show chairman. "We have evolved the event to meet our exhibitors' needs to connect with their digital followers and we've added structure to better define the day. This year, with all of our enhancements we expect the refreshed #SMP13 to double in attendance."

Driving Engagement Awards Presented by WOMMA
The morning will open with the WOMMA Driving Engagement Awards presentation, where the Chicago Auto Show and WOMMA will collectively highlight one automotive manufacturer that conducted the most innovative social media campaign in 2012. The second award will be presented to one individual who best leverages social media throughout the day. To enter a social media campaign for the WOMMA "Driving Engagement Awards," visit

Technori Pitch Event
Technori Pitch comes to the Social Media Preview, where four local Chicago startup companies will pitch their latest innovation in front of the #SMP13 audience. The event will open with a keynote from Howard Tullman, founder of Tribeca Flashpoint Academy, a premier digital arts college and venture with Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Enterprises. The four startup companies scheduled to present include: parking convenience pioneers, SpotHero and FasPark; auto repair estimate app Body Shop Bids; and budgeting tool Following each presentation, the startups will be on the hot seat for a three-minute Q-and-A formatted session where the audience may submit questions directly from their mobile devices. For more information about Technori Pitch at the Chicago Auto Show, visit

Automotive-related Roundtables
#SMP13 will play host to three automotive roundtable discussions, each presented by a well-respected automotive media outlet. These discussions will focus on current automotive trends or issues and feature some of the industry's top executives and experts.

Autoweek's associate publisher and editorial director, Dutch Mandel, will host "Everything Is The Message - Media Are How We Get There." The panel will include David Armano, managing director, Edelman Digital, Chicago; Scott Monty, global head of social media, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn; and Simon Sproule, CVP, Nissan Marketing Communications, Tokyo.

Bill Visnic, senior editor from Edmunds, will host the second discussion entitled "The Driverless Car: How Do We Get There From Here." Confirmed guests include head of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems Business Unit, NAFTA for Continental Automotive, Christian Schumacher and Nady Boules, the director of GM R&D's Electrical and Controls Integration Research Lab. managing editor Dave Thomas will host "Social Meets Mobile: How the Smartphone Revolution is impacting automotive publishing." This panel will discuss how mobile is changing the car-buying process. Car shoppers and enthusiasts alike are using smartphones and other mobile devices as a routine part of the research and buying process for new cars.

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