The past several weeks have been a hectic one for Automobile companies as they gear up for the 12th Auto Expo – The Motor Show 2014 in the country, organized by ACMA, CII and SIAM. Despite a slack in the market last year, auto brands are looking to rev it up with new models more inclined towards the Indian consumer.
Brands have pumped in more to make this happen with ambitious plans on ground as well as digital. As reported by Economic Times, the Auto Expo will see the highest ever collection of cars, bikes, trucks, buses and two-wheelers, which includes 40 new cars as compared to 9 in 2012. And beginning Feb 7-11, the new vehicles will sprawl across 64,000 sq mts at a new venue – the India Expo Mart in Noida, and a component show at the old site – the Pragati Maidan from Feb 6 -9.
Besides arranging free shuttle buses to and from the venue and many more exciting features, there’s a lot happening on digital, social and mobile as well.
Maximizing the buzz on social
Powered by the website, the Auto Expo is reaching out through its social presence. Active pages on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are engaging users and encouraging them to visit the expo with contests to win free passes. In addition, a specially created mobile app for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows Phone ensures visitors have a smooth experience at the expo.
The Motor Show 2014 Facebook page has created a decent presence with more than 43,000 fans. Wall updates, apart from sharing links to buy tickets, are also putting up a sneak peek of what to expect at the expo. Fans have been prepared for the Expo well in advance with informative and interesting visuals. A contest giving away free passes daily has been hosted on a Facebook app; one has to share their reason to visit the Expo, along with name and email id.
Twitter, the global townsquare is also abuzz with conversations around the hashtag #AETMS14. The stream is sharing pictures of the upcoming new launches along with getting users to book tickets by the incentivize method. Booking tickets can reward you with a TVS Jupiter.
— #AETMS2014 (@AutoExpo2014) February 2, 2014
— #AETMS2014 (@AutoExpo2014) February 2, 2014
Videos on the YouTube channel feature talks by the big guys of the industry. Consumers might not be really interested in that, but a recently uploaded video on the new vehicles to be unveiled at the expo looks interesting.
Leveraging mobile for visitors
However, the multi-platform mobile app introduced this year might be a game changer in pulling in the relevant crowds. For an Expo with a massive number of new launches in various vehicle categories, spread across a large area, an informative and helpful mobile app is the best bet.
I downloaded the one for Android and was pleasantly delighted to see a clean layout and useful, glitch-free features. You can choose to receive notifications and tweet about the app. The app has buttons for each of exhibitor, favourites, site map, tickets, information, shuttle service, news, organizers and videos, using which a visitor can get desired information and make smart choices.
The exhibitor button is divided into 5 sub-categories – cars, two-wheelers, commercial vehicles, electric vehicles and others. One can begin by selecting the exhibitor type interested in, and then the model from the alphabetical list in each type. There is an option to ‘favourite’ an exhibitor too.
The most useful feature in the app has to be the interactive site map though; one can find the location of a particular exhibitor or facility or find a path between exhibitors or halls. I created an itinerary too using the site map. It also features useful facilities like ATM, first aid, food, parking, tickets, etc. – features that are very useful for a visitor on the go!
Additionally, the ‘Help’ section of the app features a video tutorial, exploring each of the features in detail:
Making it count
Social media isn’t a press release media. It is a platform for creating conversations about your wares. And the organizers of 12th Auto Expo have done a good job on that front. Building a relevant community, sharing informative news and engaging them with fun contests on social platforms is the way to go.
But, most vital of all is getting the community to visit the Expo. And the mobile app will prove as a sureshot gamechanger this year. Its convenience, smooth navigation coupled with desired helpful features will certainly encourage more visitors to the Expo, thereby regaining a renewed trust in the consumer mind.
Hope these efforts trigger a good year for the auto exhibitors.