Insider Tips for the Chicago Auto Show

Posted by: Jackie Carey

Truthfully, the Chicago Auto Show is not complicated.  If you want to get inside vehicles, snap an album full of photos and hear answers to questions, it’s the place to be.  Every way you turn there is an engaging display.  Simple enough, right?  

Sure, but there is so much to see and do, hitting every one of your must-sees and making sure you are in the right place at the right time for our fun celebrity appearances and interactive events can get tricky.  Am I right?  Of course I am!  

So let’s talk about some insider tips and facts about the show so that you can be sure to have the best experience possible at the show this week.  


North vs. South Hall

If you find yourself standing in the Grand Concourse without out a clue where to go, don’t worry. We’ve all been there, but just remember two things. One, the show guide has a full map of the show floor.  With that little book, you’ll never get lost.  Two, generally speaking, the high end and luxury vehicles are in the North Hall.  You can find Jaguar/Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes and Saab here. The South Hall is the home of Ford, Toyota, Dodge, Nissan and Kia, among others.  Here you will find more activities for the whole family—the Jeep track and climbing wall as well at the Chevy Blackhawks Family Zone. 

Product Specialist and Local experts

This is such a subtle difference you may not have noticed, but it is interesting none the less.  At each exhibit, there will be a number of people staffing the booths.  It is their job to answer your questions, share information and make sure your experience at the auto show is the best it can be. 

However, you may notice that some of the staff are all dressed identically—same suit, same shoes, same shirt and, very possibly, same hair.  These are the product specialists.  They are walking, talking brand ambassadors straight from the manufacturer’s training program. It is their job to talk specifically about the product and to get up on the displays and introduce the vehicles you are looking at.  

In each booth there will also be a set of people from local dealerships and associations.  They are the ones to talk to about where your closest dealer is located and perhaps to get information that is more geographically orientated.  For example, if you want to talk to someone who has personally driven the latest Ford all-wheel drive system, or has run a diesel truck through a Chicago snow storm, they are your best bet.  They’ll be wearing professional attire, but these threads will have come straight from their own closet.  

Food Courts 

A common complaint we hear from visitors to the show is that there is not enough seating options—especially for families.  So while in some ways our show is designed to give you the opportunity to sit in cars and walk around booths it’s also important to us that you have places to rest while grabbing a bit to eat.  That being said, let me clue you into to some of my favorite options.  

Tailgate Alley –
This is a fun area in the back corner of the South Hall.  With tables set up and food carts aplenty, this is a great place to go without leaving the exhibition hall. Kids can be kids here.

Food Court –
Located on level 2.5 of McCormick place, the food court offers a few dining options, from pizza and burgers to pre-prepared salads.  You can load up a tray and sit in a nice area overlooking the entrance into the building.  Plenty of seating to accommodate large groups.  

Shore –
Shore is a small, intimate and calming restaurant located right outside the lobby of the Hyatt.  If you are looking to sit back for a while and relax, this place has good food, a bar and nice low lighting. Better for small groups and adults.

Fine Print –
Right next to the food court is a restaurant called Fine Print.  It’s has a great steak sandwich and comfy seating.  The food here won’t cost about the same as the food court, but it might get a bit crampled is strollers are blocking the aisle.


If you’ve been to the show, you know that what happens on one end of the floor doesn’t even register on the other.  With one million square feet of display, it understandable that keeping track of everything going on can be tricky.  To help you out, the show has a program to get real-time information over to your cell phone.  By texting "at the show" to 37483 (D-R-I-V-E), for the entire day, you will get the latest news and contest opportunities sent directly to you.  This way, you will never miss the chance to get your favorite Chicago athlete’s autograph or to win a prize from the show.  

As you explore the floor this weekend, make sure to keep these tips in mind.  Anything else I can help you out with?

« Last Post Next Post »

View all Posts from this Blog

Follow Us Socially Using #CAS15



Tuesday, September, 29, 2015

Honda, Not Your Average Car Company

In a recent ad campaign Honda has outdone itself. This ad stands out because it highlights Honda’s many ...

Friday, September, 25, 2015

Jaguar expands lineup by getting smaller

Jaguar plans to pounce with the new XE -- an entry-level sedan aimed straight at the heart of the luxury market. ...

Thursday, September, 24, 2015 pulls into the “pits.”

Last weekend six fans snagged VIP access to the NASCAR Xfiniti race at Chicagoland Speedway ...

Friday, September, 18, 2015

A Day at the Track: Ford Shelby GT350/GT350R

I felt very fortunate to be invited by Ford Performance to experience the Shelby GT350 and GT350R – the most ...

Thursday, September, 17, 2015

Scion Hopes Weird is Right

Scion's "Weird, Right?" commercials, featuring the new iM and iA, are behind the brand's most ...

Wednesday, August, 26, 2015

9 Best Cars for Dog Lovers, According to AutoTrader

In light of #NationalDogDay, Autotrader compiled a list of the “Best Cars for Dog Lovers” based on ...

Friday, August, 21, 2015


The Chicago Cubs and Toyota have just teamed-up for a long-term partnership, establishing Toyota as the Official ...

Wednesday, August, 12, 2015

9 Road Trips to Take Before Summer Ends

Chicago in the summertime is absolutely amazing – don’t get me wrong – but every once in a while ...

Friday, August, 07, 2015

GM Announces Apple CarPlay, Android Auto in 14 Models

If you thought your world was centered around mobile technology before, just wait. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay ...

Wednesday, August, 05, 2015


The Midwest Automotive Media Association hosted its July meeting and luncheon at the CATA headquarters to showcase ...


10/6/2015 10:37:02 AM

#TriviaTuesday: What car was the first to place the horn button in the center of the steering wheel? #trivia

10/5/2015 8:27:02 AM

Movie Scene Monday: What is the make, model and year of the hot rod featured in this scene of the 1978 film “Grease?”

10/3/2015 9:52:30 PM

?????? ? Sexy Girls Free Watch ??

10/2/2015 9:57:20 AM

Happy #NationalNameYourCarDay! What moniker would you choose for your vehicle? Comment below, and we'll select one random winner to receive 2 free tickets to the 2016 Chicago Auto Show

10/1/2015 1:36:01 PM

#TBT to the Model T! 107 years ago today the original “Tin Lizzie” made its debut. Since then the Model T has been featured in several Chicago Auto Shows including the 1972 and 2010 shows

10/1/2015 10:47:33 AM

Calling all teens & tweens! Send us your idea for a 30-second TV ad to help prevent distracted driving and you could win $2,000 from the National Road Safety Foundation. The winner will be announced at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show during a special awards ceremony. #DriveSafeChicago

9/30/2015 10:24:00 PM

?????? ? Sexy Girls Free Watch ? ?

9/30/2015 7:36:34 PM

As a columnist for 8 years for an automotive magazine, and someone who has restored and replicated the cars my friends and I have dreamed about, I know the guys in this incredibly human film. I’ve pitched in with them on builds and restorations. I’ve street raced them. We’ve scared each other stupid on country and canyon roads. I remember the girls and know the women they’ve become. I know this hardscrabble town nested with its swayback barns and ancient silos in the aching beauty of the Catskill Mountains. And like most guys across the country, I know the resonant force of dream and memory that drives a story like Demon on Wheels.

9/30/2015 11:59:38 AM

Lunchtime distraction alert! What do you think of Honda's new paper video? #thepowerofdreams

9/29/2015 2:32:04 PM

Happy #NationalCoffeeDay from your friends at #CAS16! #vintagemugs #theworldsbest


10/6/2015 9:08:14 PM

RT @PINKSUEBEE: @nwsgrl @erinkennedyCBS2 @Derrickcyoung @EdCurran @cbschicago @ChiAutoShow nice a MCCANN nominated

10/6/2015 7:10:03 PM

RT @PINKSUEBEE: @nwsgrl @erinkennedyCBS2 @Derrickcyoung @EdCurran @cbschicago @ChiAutoShow nice a MCCANN nominated

10/6/2015 7:09:30 PM

@nwsgrl @erinkennedyCBS2 @Derrickcyoung @EdCurran @cbschicago @ChiAutoShow nice a MCCANN nominated

10/6/2015 11:00:51 AM

@ChiAutoShow A: The 1915 Scripps-Booth Model C. The car was also the first with electric door latches.

10/6/2015 10:24:01 AM

#TriviaTuesday: What car was the first to place the horn button in the center of the steering wheel? #trivia

10/6/2015 9:50:46 AM

RT @Chicago_History: 1958 Buick Limited - Wells Fargo Concept Car - Chicago Auto Show Circa: 1958. @Buick @ChiAutoShow @WellsFargo http://t