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New York International Auto Show Sees Surge in Quality Attendees

MADDY RYLEY, MANAGING EDITOR
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NEW YORK CITY — The New York International Auto Show, which took place March 29-April 7 at New York City’s Javits Center, attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors to check out more than 700 vehicles on display spanning one million square feet of exhibit space.

The 2024 show, produced by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA), saw the return of several important automakers and new exhibitors, which helped to boost attendance at the show.

Quality Over Quantity

“We’re not at the numbers of people attending the show that we were prior to COVID,” said Mark Schienberg, President of the New York Auto Show. “But we are seeing an increase in the quality of attendees. This year 72% of the people that came to the show are what is called 12-month ‘intenders.’ They’re in the funnel and come to the event to take a look and talk to people about what the industry has to offer.”

To attract more high-quality attendees the team is focused on continuing to embrace new marketing channels and opportunities.

“Every year there’s a new platform to work with,” Schienberg said. “There’s still traditional marketing, like billboards, and so we’re doing a little of that because people are still traveling and commuting on highways in their cars, but we’ve shifted to a more interactive outreach strategy with social media and digital. Also, it’s not just communicating in the weeks before the show; it’s 12 months out of the year that we’re engaging with people, and that’s changed tremendously over the years.”

Blending B2B and B2C

The New York Auto Show caters to both a B2B and B2C audience and provides different kinds of programming for the two broad categories.

“It’s an auto show, and the word show is something people sometimes overlook, there is an entertainment value towards coming to these kinds of events,” Schienberg said. “They’re spending hours at the show, and they’re looking to have a good time. Our exhibitors do an amazing job of doing interactive exhibits and the attendees enjoy it.”

Activations like the ride-and-drives and test tracks are incredibly popular with show-goers, with about 180,000 people taking part in the ride-and-drive experiences offered at the event this year. Schienberg said that the test tracks and experiences are effective and impactful, as they give people a chance to really demo the vehicles.

“You can’t pigeonhole the New York Auto Show, it’s unique, with an extremely large consumer, public show component, and also an incredibly important B2B and media event,” Schienberg said.

While the B2B audience is interested in the displayed vehicles and offerings at the event, they are also attracted to the show for product discovery.

There is also a large media presence at the events from a variety of outlets that report on the event itself, as well as announcements, updates and trends seen at the show that are important to inform the industry about.

The 2024 New York Automotive Forum, hosted by NADA, J.D. Power and the New York International Auto Show included presentations and discussions about the leading issues in the industry. The one-day event welcomed more than 400 attendees.

“Our team works year-round to produce an event and generate content that will make headlines,” Schienberg said. “There are three full days of B2B and media events with amazing speakers, key automotive executives, and others that cover everything from electrification to the changing world economy. It’s an opportunity for some of the most influential and knowledgeable people in the industry to share what is going on, and attendees are getting a lot of content that they can go back and use for their business.”

Related. Artexpo New York Sees 14% Attendance Increase and Honors Exhibitor “Legends” in 2024

Importance of Information Sharing

According to Schienberg, 44% of attendees either added or subtracted a brand from their buying considerations once coming to the show, reflecting the importance of exhibiting.

The impact on the manufacturers’ business is analyzed through a variety of means, including data and leads collected by the exhibiting staff themselves, as well as the GNYADA collecting information on the purchasing intention of attendees.

The team behind the New York Auto Show is also committed to providing their audience with what’s new and what’s available to them in the automotive market. This includes helping to inform the public of new trends and transitions coming, with a big change right now toward electrification in the industry.

“In the year 2035, there are mandates on the federal level and in New York state that the only cars that will be sold are electric, and that’s a major paradigm shift,” Schienberg said. “There are so many issues that the public is trying to understand, and this is where the auto show comes in. We’ve been spending a lot of time making these products available for consumers to experience.

“New York was the original Auto Show in North America back in November 1900, when we were shifting from horse and buggies to this new form of transportation. We haven’t had this kind of major shift in how transportation works for nearly 125 years, and now we are going through it. Shows played a key role back in 1900, and they’re playing a key role now to give consumers those experiences.”

The 2025 New York Auto Show, which will mark its 125th anniversary, will be held April 18-27.

Reach Mark Schienberg at mark@gnyada.com

One Response

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