Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Paris Autoshow

2012 Paris Auto Show 70While I have attended a lot of tradeshows in my time, I had never attended the Paris Auto Show (PAS) until this past fall. I was curious to see how it stacked up against the likes of CES, COMDEX, SuperCOM, and NAB.

In terms of floor space, PAS (96,000 sq.m.) is about half the size of CES (178,373 sq. m.). It's difficult to judge something by its floorspace, though. Take this Paris apartment building elevator; I prefer to consider it as a "personal" sized elevator, not small. It still will get you to where you need to go.

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As if to make up for the smaller floor space, PAS is open 18 days while CES is only open 4 days. The extra opening hours help PAS eclipse CES in terms of attendance: 1,200,000 visitors to 153,000 visitors. Granted, PAS is open to the public whereas CES is a closed show. Still, 1.2 million people is a lot of people to have walking by your booth and it is certainly something Show Captains have to take into account.

For example, it might be a good idea to design your booth to include rest areas. Marketing will pay for it if you put a touch screen display in front of a comfy bean bag chair! Why, I bet a lot of people would have a look at your message while they rest their tired dogs!

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It's also a good idea to arrange your booth as a theatre, since people jammed around your booth won't otherwise be able to see. Either elevate your booth, elevate your walkways, or do a combination of both! Magic! I wish the guys at COMDEX had thought of this back in the day.

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Show Captains need to keep the traffic flowing on their booth, so that people can climb in and check out the goods.

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With that kind of traffic on your booth, you need dedicated staff to keep it clean during show hours.

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Being open for that long, and dealing with that many people, means relaxed dress codes for your booth staff; there's no way anyone is doing an 18-day show in heels.

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Relaxed doesn't mean jeans and t-shirts though!

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But unlike CES, there are no booth babes here, unless you count the torque-n-horsepower kind! This show is all about the car.

Small cars...

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Solar cars...

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Concept cars...

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High performance electric cars...

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High performance fuel cars...

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And luxury cars...

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There are some interesting side stories at a show like this. Like how the smaller exhibitors attract traffic. Some used booth pups...

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Some used merchandising....

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Others used nostalgia....

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At this point, I have to digress for a moment, because while walking around Paris I saw an Amphicar! This German amphibious car is an icon of the 1960's and I had never seen one in person.

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If you look under the rear bumper you can see the twin propellers that it uses while in the water.

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Given what a collector's item this car is, I was surprised to see it on the rear of a river barge.

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While at the Paris Auto Show, I noticed there was a lot of chrome, which can make for some interesting black and white compositions. I will close off this blog post with some of those images.

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Other posts from this trip were:
What I See, Part 4 - The Streets Of Paris Redux
What I See, Part 3 - A Short Walk Through Paris




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* not that I have even done a 1-day show in heels!

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