Rochester MI March 28, 2017 Outside of the dealership, auto shows provide the optimal shopping experience…and some consumers may even say it is better than dealerships as they may cross-shop multiple brands. Understanding how many new car prospects attend auto shows is a critical factor impacting new car sales. Fortunately, Foresight Research has been tracking attendance for the past several years. In the most recently completed auto show season (2015 – 2016) we found that nearly 2 out of 3 attendees at auto shows were in the market to purchase in the next year – that was about 4 million households or about 6 million people. In addition, attendance among actual buyers has increased 57% over 2012. This highly effective selling tool has rocketed in importance recently.
What are these people doing there, just having a fun day kicking tires? Not on your life! Auto show attendees spend an average 3.5 hours at the auto show. While there, attendees establish or cement their brand opinion, expand and focus their consideration list, and even make final brand buying decisions – all in a fun environment. In fact, in our last report, after attending the show one out of four 12 month intenders had made up their mind about the vehicle to purchase – that was almost 1 million purchase decisions, or 7% of all US retail sales.
Auto shows provide a unique marketing opportunity by presenting a relatively even playing field for automakers. Despite display floor size differences, location, competitive clutter, potential consumers can explore all brands, experience the vehicles in a hands-on way, and connect with experts and fellow fans, providing an opportunity to support brand loyalty and promote discovery and conquest.
For the 2015 – 2016 auto show season, the Foresight Research “Profile and Attendance” Report, measured 57 auto shows in 50 markets with a total sample of 15,711 surveys. The 20-16 – 2017 report is being created for release in June. This report will cover such topics as: attendance, attendee profiles, non-attendance, the auto show experience, shoppers, brand detail and the overall favorite – most impressive displays. This report is a must have for auto show managers – for planning auto shows, budgeting auto shows and reporting the results of auto shows. Having first pioneered the calculation of auto show attendance in 2013, Foresight Research has continually refined and improved its methodology to achieve the most accurate and complete attendance statistics possible.