Foresight Research: Shoppers returned to auto shows post-Covid

ROCHESTER, Mich., Aug. 25, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Two years after Covid-19 brought an abrupt halt to large public gatherings across the country, millions of America’s car shoppers returned to their local shows, according to the recently published Foresight Research 2021-22 US Auto Show Season Attendance Report ©. Although 21 shows have not yet resumed, half of pre-pandemic national attendance has already been recovered, the report reveals.

“Covid-19 continues to impact auto shows as the top barrier to attendance, most notably among older consumers. But the data shows that many new vehicle shoppers were eager to return to their local auto show, and did,” said Christopher Stommel, Foresight Research President. “Foresight Research reports seeing more 12-month intenders, longer dwell times, and more engaged shopping. Consumers have a lot of auto industry developments they needed to catch up on from those two years.”

Among those developments is the industry’s rapid transition toward electrification. While consumer acceptance of electrics is rising, industry experts agree that a sizeable gap remains, and the most effective way to build acceptance is through direct consumer interaction with those vehicles. “Auto shows play a significant role by supplying a larger concentration of in-market and motivated new vehicle buyers than other experiential events out there,” Stommel adds. “3 out of 4 auto show visitors are more likely to buy a hybrid or full electric vehicle after attending a show.”

Another key finding of the report is the negative consequences of brands not exhibiting at auto shows. “People notice when their own brand - or preferred next brand - is not there,” Stommel says. “This is leading to lower brand opinion and purchase likelihood, since when a show visitor can’t find your brand on the floor, they don’t just turn around and leave; they take another look at the competition. And Foresight Research is increasingly seeing that they are finding the competition to be suitable alternatives, given the 50% increases in brand additions happening on show floors from just a few years ago.”

The “2020-21 US Auto Show Season Attendance Report © report published July 25, 2022. Foresight Research has been a leading provider of automotive marketing research insights for 25 years, covering a wide range of industry sectors including auto shows, motorsports, experiential events, and vehicle accessories. For more information, contact:

Christopher Stommel
Foresight Research
Phone: (248) 608-1870 x 16