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Chicago's creative alternatives save exhibitor expense

The Chicago Auto Show's response to the challenging financial times our industry is experiencing has been warmly welcomed by global automotive manufacturers. The nation's largest auto show has extended an offer to manufacturers to utilize a brand-neutral media conference set at no charge in the Grand Concourse of McCormick Place.

Mark Scarpelli, chairman of the 2009 show, said, "We're offering a free shot at an open net with the media sitting in the front rows. It's an offer that has made sense to several manufacturers who will take advantage of the offer. After all, manufacturers still need to get their messages out. While auto shows are now-and will continue to be-a critically important marketing tool to influence the public, they're equally important to communicate corporate and new product messages to the media."

"Our media set will offer everything needed to produce a professionally produced news conference," said Chicago Auto Show General Manager Jerry Cizek. "We'll provide a backdropped stage; professional lighting for up to two vehicles; podium with sound and teleprompter; large screen for video projection; plus media seating and camera platforms. It's kind of a no-brainer. We're obviously ready to help start moving the needle for the industry," said Cizek. "It's what we do."

The Chicago Auto Show wants to help its exhibitors with as many aspects of show costs as possible. Show management is pleased to announce that its official show carpet supplier, Exhibitors Carpet Service (ECS), is extending an across-the-board 15 percent discount off its published rates to all exhibitors.

"When you've got 1.3 million sq. feet of flooring to cover, a 15 percent saving is significant," said Cizek. "In the final analysis it means money saved, and we're pleased that ECS has joined in to help make the expense of a very effective auto show even more efficient by lowering the bottom line."

Exhibitors can find ordering information and the published price list, including a guide to show contractors and official suppliers, in the show's online exhibitor kit at www.ChicagoAutoShow.com/exhibitors.

"We want to encourage our exhibitors to use the Chicago Auto Show for product reveals, executive availability and business news. We're trying to give our industry its best opportunity to refocus public attention on the incredible range of new products and technology our industry offers the customer," said Cizek. "The better and more efficiently we do that, the better we can start to move people from the show floor to the dealership-and that's why auto shows exist."

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