Over the last 20 years I have been lucky enough to travel the word and attend some of the best industry shows; CES in Las Vegas, The Electronics Show in Hong Kong, IFA in Berlin, World Mobile Congress in Barcelona and E3 in Los Angles to name a few. All of these are fantastic shows that are integral to the industries they operate within, they serve to inform their industries with what’s coming out and the new latest and greatest products within their sectors.

This past week Neil and I were lucky enough to add a new show to our list when we travelled to Geneva to attend the Geneva International Motor Show.

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From the outset of arriving at the show entrance and being moved towards the halls, you could tell that this was very much different to the normal industry shows that we had attended before.  The first thing that made a massive impression when entering the first hall was how orderly the stand layout was, all of the major brands were located around the edge of the hall with the other brands that were exhibiting neatly laid out within the middle of the floor.  The brands around the edge of the show floor were allowed to have their stand built up showing footage and providing the glitz of what you would expect from the Motor Show.  The exhibitors within the middle of the show floors had no fancy stands, large back drops or anything that detracted away from the spectacle of show.  The fact that the show floor was so open created a great atmosphere, brands were not fighting for attention and this really was a massive plus point.

The attention to detail across the whole show was amazing, two things that really stood out for me were the lighting and uniformity of staff on the stands.  It was hard to take my eyes off of the amazing cars that were on offer from the world’s leading brands and also some amazing brands from across the globe. On the one occasion that I did I was really surprised to see the different colour lights that shone down on the brands stands.  Every brand had their own bespoke lighting arrangement above their stand that perfectly complimented their arrangement of cars to show them glistening to the eye, added to this there was a continued team of valeters moving around the stands making sure that the cars were looking on point and perfectly addressed. The teams that staffed the stands were also dressed to impress, all looked perfectly uniformed from top to toe in branded uniforms and matching shoes or trainers.  The positive impression that this gave of the brand was immense, it showed that the brands DNA ran through from the cars that they were exhibiting to the teams delivering the show.

This brings me on nicely to my final point, the brand teams that were on the show floor.  During the course of the show we spoke to many staff that had been bought in to support brands at the show, their level of knowledge was amazing. From car spec to electric and intelligent cockpit to up-gradable features the staff were on point, knowledgeable and very much on brand. One demonstration that stood out was on the Skoda stand where I received a great demonstration on Trunk Delivery, first I was asked what best describes my personality, once I selected two elements this then showed a great App that I was presented that allows the user to open their boot of their car for delivery companies to make their deliveries to. This all happens through the app straight into your boot, the demonstration and explanation of the App was flawless, well-rehearsed, delivered with confidence and with a smile on her face throughout our interaction, very much on brand.

All in all, a fantastic show and for me the automotive industry has really risen the bar on how brands should approach consumer facing events in future. Making sure the brands DNA runs through the stand is key, this covers everything from the consumer journey around the stand to the finer details of uniformity of the team. Investing into your supporting brand teams is an integral part of the preparation, as they are consumer facing it’s imperative that they not only have the relevant product knowledge, but they also understand the brands DNA so that this come through in all consumer interactions.

Looking forward to going back next year and seeing how the automotive sector are raising the bar, one tip if you are going to go next year make sure you take your wallets, Geneva is an amazing place but very expensive…

Until next year Geneva!