News & Events

Instant Text Updates Available at Auto Show

Two-way texting will debut for first time ever at event

Navigating more than one million square feet of exhibition space can seem daunting to anyone, so it’s natural for enthusiasts at the Chicago Auto Show to wander around wondering what to check out first, when a special event is about to happen, and how to get there.

But this year at the largest U.S. auto show, a personal tour guide is coming to a phone near you!

Everyone with a cell phone can text the keyword “AtTheShow” to the short code DRIVE (37483) to get timely updates on events, attractions, promotions, contests, celebrity appearances and other news happening at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show -- sent directly to their own phone.

“The unique aspect of this is the real-time info; there's no delay,” said Mark Bilek, Director of Communications Technology for the Chicago Auto Show. “If a Bulls player, for example, is not on the schedule and shows up, we can text that. We have a way to reach people and let them know.”

Bilek is delivering the text updates to Chicago Auto Show visitors with the help of Text2Drive, the premiere two-way text communication tool used by more than 400 car dealers across the country to send and receive text messages to and from their customers.

“Text2Drive is cutting through the clutter to put the most important and timely information about the Chicago Auto Show in the palm of your hand,” explained Text2Drive CEO Gregg Owen. “You don’t have to fumble with a program or map or search for the help desk. You can easily and conveniently find out where to sign up for the sweepstakes drawing or which interactive display has the shortest line or when a Chicago Bears player is due to appear – all through texting on your own cell phone.”

The press can get their own special text updates by texting the keyword CASMedia to the same short code, DRIVE (37483).

For the first time ever, the Chicago Auto Show will provide live, instant answers to questions via text for those who text the keyword BetterState to the same short code, DRIVE (37483), on Sunday, February 9, 2014. It will be like having a mobile version of the State Farm Insurance Help Desk in every consumer’s pocket or purse.


“That's what I'm excited about, two-way conversations with attendees,” enthused Bilek, adding that the special beta-test of the two-way texting will continue during the week at times when staffing is available.

Bilek’s own staff will be using the Text2Drive platform to communicate with each other and post timely information and pictures to social media.

“Text2Drive created an app that allows employees to take a picture with their phone, attach a message to it and then send it directly to the communications department,” explained Owen. “The employees in the Chicago Auto Show control room can then instantly post that picture and information to their social media pages right from the Text2Drive platform on their computer screen.”

With the constant noise on the showroom floor making communication difficult among Chicago Auto Show employees, Bilek says he’s grateful they have a new, improved way of reaching each other.

“Several years ago, I recognized texting was becoming a way of communication that wasn't being addressed at the Chicago Auto Show. Gregg Owen and I started working together on that,” Bilek noted. “Now, in addition to giving people information through text notifications, we’ll try two-way communication with text. It’s pretty cool.”

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