Traditional automotive trade shows in the context of covid pandemic – survey results

18 Feb 2022

In 2022, the organisation of auto shows and other large industry events will continue to be difficult. What do automotive professional parts sellers and workshop owners think about this issue? What motivates them to participate in such events? How do they evaluate online trainings? All this information we collected during our survey, in which more than 600 participants from 9 EU countries took part. The results are presented below.

Traditional fairs vs. online trade shows – participants’ opinions

Due to the pandemic, it was assumed that online shows will become an alternative to traditional fairs held in large exhibition halls. But it turns out that the vast majority of market participants believe that such events are not able to replace traditional trade fairs.

Instead of an online trade show, respondents would prefer to attend the traditional version. Even due to the pandemic, on average 87% of those surveyed are willing to attend a traditional trade show.

What motivates industry professionals to attend trade shows? The vast majority of them approach these types of events in a professional manner. More than entertainment or the opportunity to meet friends, respondents valued the opportunity to learn about market and technical news (31% on average for all countries surveyed) and personal contact with representatives of manufacturers and distributors (48%).

Small local trade shows vs. national trade shows
In the time of covid pandemic, it is very difficult to organize large trade shows in the traditional form. Alternatively, there may be smaller, locally organized industry meetings. During a pandemic, these types of events enjoy an increase in popularity, but most respondents see no chance that they can replace large national trade shows.

Online technical training vs. classroom training
We also asked automotive professionals how they evaluate the value of online technical training – whether it can replace traditional training. The evaluation consisted of awarding points from 1 to 10. Most of the points awarded by of respondents was near the lower part of the scale, indicating that they believe that pre-computer training is not a valuable market response to the lack of stationary trainings. Despite the many efforts of automotive technology professionals, the average score across all countries is only 4 out of a possible 10 points.

The results of our study could be summarized in a few words – the automotive market, in order to function properly, needs direct contacts between its participants. The lack of industry events or training in the traditional formula is seen as a negative phenomenon by most professionals, regardless of their age.


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