Geneva livestreams ‘may point way ahead for trade shows’

On the first press day of the cancelled Geneva Motor Show, the organisers are promoting a ‘virtual press day’ made up of livestreamed carmaker presentations instead of what would have happened at the physical show venue today.

David Leggett, automotive editor at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view: “Even before the coronavirus crisis forced a late cancellation of Europe’s major annual major motor show at Geneva, many carmakers had already concluded that the costs of exhibiting at motor shows are no longer worth bearing and that there are better ways to spend that budget and generate buzz around new product.

“Brands that were not planning to be present at Geneva this year included Cadillac, Citroen, Ford, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Subaru, Tata and Volvo – that is quite a long list.

“Thanks to the internet and burgeoning news and car websites, as well as social media, new car models have often been seen online well in advance of official launches.

“Livestreaming new product presentations may well be seen as a better way forward for manufacturers concerned over the costs and diminishing effectiveness of exhibiting at trade shows.

“Going forward, carmakers will be anxious not to incur unnecessary costs at motor shows. Some combination of a scaled down real-world event, along with new elements – for example, demonstrating future urban mobility concepts – and livestreams for manufacturers’ presentations could conceivably strike a balance that works for all.

“The organisers of motor shows have plenty to think about in terms of staying relevant when the coronavirus crisis is over.

“But it does look like the traditional motor show event and format is looking a little tired.”

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