Blame the ongoing pandemic.
Initial discussions for virtual auto shows began earlier this year, before COIVD.
The idea will be to virtually walk through the actual venue’s show floor.
If there were ever any doubts about the present and future viability of the auto show format, the fact the Montreal and Toronto show organizers were already thinking about going virtual demonstrates that physical events might be on their way out.
These forward-thinking people have already figured out that the difficulty with a virtual auto show is that it can’t feel like a website. The initial talks for this format included 2022 as the pilot year, according to Automotive News Canada. The pandemic will have forced the early adoption of the virtual auto show platform but some say, and we agree, that it won’t be the same.
Hyundai Canada CEO said that it will be impossible to re-create the physical and emotional experience of walking through a show floor with family and friends. “It’s not an art exhibit where you can go and it’s very much a visual experience,”
The main points to remember about these virtual shows is that “admission” will be free and that manufacturers will not redirect visitors/customers to their website. In the Canadian International Auto Show’s case, the Metro Toronto Convention Center will be digitally replicated so that the public can virtually “walk” from one booth to another.
So far, David McClean, marketing director for the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) in Toronto, has not revealed how many manufacturers have agreed to join however we assume most will participate.
Measuring the success of these events will only be possible during the week-long events as they go live. It will be interesting to see how the car-buying public responds.