Blurred image of people at a car show

Brand Growth Through In-person Experiences and Interactions

Michael Jennings, Radius Insights, Radius Global Market Research 2021/10/michael-jennings-bio.jpg

by Michael Jennings

Senior Vice President

Auto shows and, by extension, other non-dealership in-person interactions such as auctions, racing events, and owner/enthusiast club events are increasingly viewed as an excellent way for automotive manufacturers and dealers to increase exposure and sales. A recent Automotive News survey revealed that 7 out of 10 visitors to auto shows are in market for a new vehicle and 40 percent of shoppers add a brand to their consideration set.

These shows and events are considered to be a welcoming and low-pressure environment where consumers can be hands-on with the vehicles and foster discussion among fellow purchasers and enthusiasts. Additionally, they drive excitement in a time that is arguably not ideal for considering a new vehicle (according to CNN, inflation and an average new car cost that has increased to over $47,000 is contributing to buyer hesitancy).


Graphic about four ways to capture customer interest at auto events


Four ways to capture customer interest at auto events.

Presenting your brand at car shows, expos, and local meets can have a significant impact on your brand’s visibility, credibility, and customer engagement:

  1. Increased visibility: You can reach a larger audience of potential customers. These events attract car enthusiasts, industry professionals, and potential buyers, providing an excellent opportunity to showcase your brand to a wide range of people.
  2. Improved brand credibility: You can demonstrate your brand’s expertise and industry knowledge. This can help establish your brand as a credible and trustworthy player in the automotive industry, which can lead to increased brand loyalty and customer retention.
  3. Enhanced customer engagement: You can build stronger relationships with customers and gain valuable feedback on your products and services. This can help you refine your offerings and tailor your marketing efforts to better meet the needs and preferences of your target audience.
  4. Competitive advantage: You can stay ahead of your competitors by showcasing your latest products and services, generating buzz and excitement around your brand, and establishing yourself as a thought leader in the industry.

Sponsoring and showing at car shows and events, coupled with insights from research that properly prepare you the experience, is a powerful way to increase consideration and sales of your brand.”


Research insights help to build the ideal experience.

What is important to remember is that market research is an essential tool for any automotive brand that wants to understand this part of the consumer journey and how your brand can optimize booth visitation and the experience that visitors have. For example, market research can help answer these questions:

  • Who is likely to attend  profile of attitudes and behaviors, brands owned, etc.?
  • What do they expect to ‘get out of a show’ and why do they attend?
  • What are their preferences and expectations when it comes to engaging with brands at shows?
  • What experiences are most compelling for attendance and booth visitation?
  • What should your involvement in the show look like and how should you communicate that involvement to the right consumers?

And all of this applies to other brands in the automotive space such as accessory and parts manufacturers as well as maintenance product and service providers. Sponsoring and showing at car shows and events, coupled with insights from research that properly prepare you the experience, is a powerful way to increase consideration and sales of your brand.

Want to learn more about ways to optimize the customer journey?

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