Auto Expo 2018

Has the Auto Expo elevated itself to a higher plane?

20 Feb 2014 Bertrand D'souza

In many ways SIAM has redeemed itself. We all expected the Auto Expoto fail in its capacity to organize even a reasonably well run motorshow. To our surprise and eventual delight, Auto Expo operated like awell run machine. There were the occasional niggles and hiccups butnothing that seriously tarnished its image like the 2012 debacle. Overthe two days spent doodling through the stalls meeting manufacturersand observing the plans and products for the next couple of years Itook notes. This is what they mostly say Crowds-at-Auto-Expo 1. Shorten the time allocated for press conferences. Keep it down toten minutes instead of the twenty. This forces the manufacturers toget to the point quickly. Maruti Suzuki, the first press conference ofthe day involved a song and dance routine, obviously means they hadmore time on their hands than was necessary. The media wouldappreciate getting to the point ASAP, our time is just as precious asyours. Song and dance is good for the public days but we appreciatenot hurting our eardrums. Maruti-Ciaz2 2. It may suit your purposes to give Maruti the honor of opening upevery motor show with the first press conference of the day. And its anice gesture to the oldest indigenous and India's most successfulmanufacturer. But then also ensure they are the first hall everyonehas to visit and subsequently every other presser is travelled to inone direction alone, forward. We dislike walking around in a maze, weknow formal footwear hurt and that corporate types wear them everyday,but that is no excuse to make us walk kilometres on the one day whenwe wear them too. 3. Lower the decibel levels within the halls, especially within thetwo-wheeler halls. This isn't the Ram Leela neither is it the war ofthe DJs. And while it may be fun and hilarious on occasion to watchthe chaps at Honda stare daggers at the Harley Davidson stall its adamn sight unprofessional for either to behave like absolutejuveniles. My equipment is louder than yours just does not have toapply in this case especially when there are a dozen manufacturers inthe same space and all want their fair share of attention. And godforbid, has the trade fairs organisaztion rated the tolerance of theindoor halls for noise destruction, wouldn't want the upper levelscollapsing on Maruti now, would we? 4. On the business day or the second day of the motor show kindlyrefrain from handing out passes for dealers and their uncles, aunts,nephews, nieces, daughters and her entire Facebook friends circle. Itwould be nice for us in the media to also have some amount of space onthe second day as well to continue to fulfill our roles asjournalists. There are still a lot of cars and motorcycles to shootand film. As a business day I have no idea what business do relativesof dealers have at the Expo. If you still believe that you'd like topamper the dealers for the very crucial role they play in ourautomotive industry absolutely feel free to do so, but why not do itthe next time on the fifth or sixth day? Hand these complimentaryguest passes out for towards the fag end of the expo, the crowds onthese days are limited since everyone realizes there aren't freebiesbeing handed out. Its helps spread your numbers out so every day showsa reasonable amount of attendance, definitely a win win for everyone. vardenchi (3) 5. It would be very professional of you if there were more than oneinternet service provider tied up as your partner. The media I am surewould appreciate not having to go back to the days of monopoly whichresults in highway robbery. The fares charged are exorbitant becausethere is just one operator and while some of us may be able to affordthe rates most of the media that spreads the word on the auto expodefinitely can't afford these astronomical figures. If the automotiveindustry has moved on from two to three manufacturers to nearly threedozen jostling with each other in various segments, I don't see whythe internet services provided on your biggest day has to berestricted to just one player. Irrational and makes me think someonesomewhere is earning a hefty kickback. 6. Its nice of SIAM to give the opportunity to some smallmanufacturer, I assume is related to obviously someone within SIAM, toprovide a shuttle service. The promotion of a electric mobilitysolution with the fairgrounds is definitely encouraging, even if thegovernment isn't highly appreciative of the effort yet. However asuggestion either allow or encourage more manufacturers to do thesame. Its nice to sit in a 1920's styled horseless carriage or achook-chook train but this is a event that also celebrates theadvances the automobile industry has made, this isn't the...Ram Leela! Expo At the international motor shows held in Europe most manufacturersprovide shuttle services in some of their latest cars, eitheralternatively fueled or in some cases even in cars that have eitherjust hit the markets or will do so in the immediate future. Thisprovides manufacturers the opportunity to offer a more intimate feelof their cars to the visitors, not just as showpieces but livingbreathing examples. pulsarSS400 (3) 7. On a more humanitarian note we would appreciate finding a seatsomewhere on which to park ourselves. Inevitably the media findsitself walking and standing for over 12 hours with barely any time tocatch their breath. Small areas that would allow us to rest our feetand not on the floors of the show spaces would be much appreciated. 8. Now this one goes out to the manufacturers. The mad public and evenmedia rush for goodies has been created by you and your need to be noticed. Please get with the times and digitize all your pressmaterial. Press releases should be made available online instantly soshould images and video. When will you guys learn that there issomething called a media site, which allows access to registered mediaand makes life so much simpler. It is you guys who hand out the thumbdrives and the ridiculous calendars, posters, bags and otherparaphernalia that gets the not so cultured and dubious mediapersonnel go hare brained crazy and then its you itself who go aroundtut-tutting at their preposterous behavior. 9. Another one for the manufacturers. The levels hosts you have onattendance at your stalls who love to parade and around their assigneddisplays and show off their 500watt smiles are only good for justthat. They are as much of a showpiece as the cars you display. Why notrun them through a two or three day crash course on what the productis that they will represent. Don't just run them through groomingsessions, give them a little knowledge too. Get them well prepared toanswer confidently any questions fielded on whatever it is they arerepresenting? We don't expect them to know company plans but if theycould point out who in the company could answer relevant questions,provide certain product information and generally look interested, itwould definitely add a whole new dimension to your brand. 10. Finally I'd like to end on a congratulatory note. Auto Expo2014 was a resounding success in many ways. It gave India a sense ofpride to be able to host a world class event. As an automotivejournalist I have had the opportunity of traveling to several motorshows all around the world. From Shanghai to Los Angeles I havevisited almost every major motor show there is. And today I can veryproudly tell anyone I meet there that they must come down for theIndian Auto Expo. This event ran as smoothly and professionally as anyglobal show. I was pleased to hear even the manufacturers sounding offvery positive feedback about the motor show. Like any first venturethe occasional hiccups I mentioned above are just that, hiccups. Swallow a glass of water or a spoonful of sugar and the next few yearsshould see an even better organized event. I for one can't wait for2016, and hopefully be in a better position to make our owncontribution to host an even better motor show than what we saw thisyear. A new benchmark has just been created!

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