2020 is the first year that I can recall that a majority of the brands we sell are not taking part in the AutoShow at the Convention Center (BCEC). Nissan and Honda are still there, but Audi and Porsche and Volvo did not participate.

That begs the question: are auto shows even relevant in the year 2020? There’s no question that less and less people attend auto shows every year, and brands such as Audi or Volvo have decided to spend their marketing dollars on less hidebound avenues. For example, the Audi e-tron was unveiled at an event in San Francisco which Audi put on themselves, while Volvo introduced its XC40 at the Milan Fashion Week.

But it is also true that millions still trek to auto shows to see the latest and greatest models and innovations. It may not be as many as in the past, but some brands see a benefit to the critical mass of attendees which auto shows can bring.

Auto shows have to come to grips with what newspaper or television advertising has adjusted to: no longer are they the big dog in the marketing/advertising toolkit, but they still can hold value as a small contributor to a brand’s marketing mix.