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It’s well documented that auto shows attract in-market shoppers and automotive enthusiasts. A survey of 2019 Chicago Auto Show attendees showed that more than 68 percent of attendees were there to shop and nearly 40 percent of attendees called themselves automotive enthusiasts. Those numbers closely mimic surveys from other auto shows and demonstrate an auto show’s ability to attract in-market shoppers and build brand awareness among enthusiasts.

Each year the Chicago Auto Show and its exhibitors find new and innovative ways to reach outside the traditional automotive sphere to attract people who might not consider attending. Last year, the Chicago Auto Show added a craft beer night and a sports fan day. This year the show is adding a themed running event called Miles Per Hour. In addition, bringing on new charities to sell tickets for First Look for Charity grows the show’s audience.

“We know that the auto show is so much more than a shopping opportunity: It’s a celebration of everything automotive, an interactive display of new technologies and a wonderful opportunity to get out of the house in the dead of winter,” said Tony Guido, Chicago Auto Show chairman. “Our exhibitors bring amazing interactive displays that not only captivate a wide range of audiences, but entertain and educate while at the same time expand the appeal of the show.”

Subaru is a great example of an automaker trying to take full advantage of its auto show presence. Not only will the brand have an all-new National Park themed display, but the automaker is adding daily pet adoption events. As part of the Subaru Loves Pets initiative, the automaker will partner with local animal shelters in cities hosting auto shows, with the focus of ultimately getting animals out of shelters and into loving forever homes.

Volkswagen is also growing its display to add an indoor test track which will feature its first ever show floor driving experience. It will be the first official Atlas Cross Sport activation since its reveal in 2019 and the company believes that the driving course will provide attendees with a first-person experience that truly showcases the Atlas Cross Sport’s capabilities. Volkswagen has long used Chicago to introduce key North American products and knows full well the potential that’s available in the Windy City.

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