The Prep and Payoff of Auto Shows

The Prep and Payoff of Auto Shows

If there’s an auto show, you can bet the Stratacomm team will be there. A lot of preparation goes into supporting automotive and transportation clients leading up to these important activations, onsite and post-event. And, it is all worth it when you walk away with new and better relationships with key media.

Preparation 101

It comes down to preparation. Before we pitch a single person, we map out all the executives and subject matter experts available and match it with media that will best reach our target audiences. Once targets are identified, we get to pitching, arranging meetings at the show and prepping briefing materials with all the information that interviewees and interviewers need to be successful. Scheduled appointments are confirmed 24 hours with all media (which is important).

Being Successful Onsite

Onsite, we have a media check-in desk to accommodate the logistics of scheduled interviews and any “walk-ups,” bringing the parties to a quiet space for a focused interview. We play a liaison role, ensuring the interviewee has the right communications support person with them and all the information they need about the media interviewer. After the interview, we note any follow-ups needed for the media that we can provide post-event.

Chicago Auto Show

Recently, we had a blast at the Chicago Auto Show supporting Nissan. Pictured, I’m with some fellow Stratacommers, some of the Nissan team, and many media members traveling via train from the metro Detroit area to the show. The train provides a relaxed atmosphere to build camaraderie and excitement leading up to the show. I love this annual pilgrimage and all the opportunities this show provides to make meaningful media relationships!


Even with all the virtual opportunities, auto shows play a key role in providing connections between media, product and subject matter experts. Programs leading up to or following auto shows will continue providing value when it comes to media relations in these settings. Another top trend is participating in the ride and drive portion on the show floor. This allows media (and consumers on public days) the opportunity to interact with the vehicle/technology directly. We see this increasing and continuing to make auto shows that much more exciting!

Upcoming Shows We’re Tracking

A roundup of the shows we’re tracking – there are a lot this year, and we can’t wait (bold = major shows)!

  • Lehigh Valley Auto Show: March 16-20, 2022
  • Atlanta International Auto Show: March 16-20, 2022
  • Columbus International Auto Show: March 17-20, 2022
  • Alabama International Auto Show March 31-April 3, 2022
  • New York International Auto Show: April 15-24, 2022
  • Austin Auto Show: April 22-24, 2022
  • Carlisle Ford Nationals: June 3-5, 2022
  • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance: August 21, 2022
  • Kansas City International Auto Show: September 8-11, 2022
  • North American International Auto Show: September 14-25, 2022
  • State Fair of Texas Auto Show: September 30 – October 23, 2022
  • Miami Auto Show: October 2022 (TBD)
  • Los Angeles Auto Show: November 18-27, 2022

What auto show are you most looking forward to? Contact us today if we can support you!

Sarah Kuzdak is an Account Supervisor based in metro Detroit. She provides client and media relations services, event planning and logistics support, and strategic counseling for automotive accounts.

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