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What Will Car Shows Look Like In 2021?

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 3rd February 2021 11:21am

Cars in a showroom at a car show

Car shows are the bookmarks of a car lover’s year – like music festivals, but with more engine roaring. With the celebrations of impeccable engineering, stunning design, and jaw-dropping drivers, car shows aren’t just about nostalgia or car-ogling - but about fuelling new ideas.

As such, last year was a real shake-up in the car show world (as well as the rest of the world) and we’re now left wondering what’s in store for car shows in 2021.

Turbulent scheduling

As yet, it still seems a little too soon to say with certainty but, with mass vaccinations rolling out, many shows, meets, and festivals scheduled for early this year have been rescheduled for after mid-spring. The hope is that, by then, enough people will have been vaccinated that we’ll be able to ease lockdown restrictions and get back to ‘normal’ life – if still a somewhat socially-distanced normal.

Expect social distancing

As much as we should be returning back to normal sooner rather than later, it’s wise to expect social distancing for the foreseeable. Any car shows we’ll be able to go to in person are likely to see restrictions on tickets and spaces.

Be prepared to go virtual

Certain regular shows, such as the British Motor Show, have experimented with conducting the show virtually. This certainly provides opportunities for exciting, new multimedia ways of engaging with vehicle innovation, and helps to bring some of the entertainment into your home.

Different vehicle retailers, for example, have experimented with offering virtual showrooms which, if executed correctly, can provide really deep engagement with prospects. YesAuto’s showroom lets you choose colours and other customisations on your vehicles and see them update in real time.

Not only that, but it offers significant savings for vehicle producers compared to traditional auto shows. After all, they’re not having to ship their staff to a show, build a stall, cover expenses, pay for entertainers etc.

However, while this offers significant savings for manufacturers – and certainly lowers the cost of an admission ticket (if there is to be one) – there’s something about the social aspect of auto shows that will be hard to replicate remotely.

Perhaps we’ll see a transition to a hybrid model of showcasing. A virtual (and virtual reality) option to enable browsing, and a traditional option to enable showcasing of design & engineering feats – as well as the good, old-fashioned get-together.

Whatever car shows look like, hopefully they won’t be too alien – or at least for too long.

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