By Anna Sekula Posted April 21, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT
NEW YORK Following two days of press and industry previews, the New York International Auto Show opens to the public Friday, and this year organizers have revamped the 111-year-old convention, taking over new space at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, creating technology-ready materials, and even changing the show's hours. The expo, produced by the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association and overseen by vice president Candida Romanelli, has almost 1,000 vehicles displayed across four floors and expects to once again attract more than one million attendees during its 10-day run.
The most noticeable adjustment to the show is the expansion into Javits Center North, the pavilion that debuted in July last year. In the 80,000-square-foot raw, column-free facility, the production team has created a clean and contemporary backdrop—similar to the setting on the main show floor—for the booths from four automotive brands. Occupying the largest section of this is Chevrolet, which embellished the entrance to its area at the venue's rear with a gateway fashioned after its cross-shaped logo. And as the hall is still a relatively unfamiliar space to Auto Show visitors, banners in the north concourse and displays in the 30-foot-wide corridor connecting the pavilion to the main building help guide showgoers to the new expo area.
On the technology side, the Greater New York Automobile Association has boosted its efforts, building on the app it introduced last year to incorporate QR codes into the experience for the 2011 Auto Show. Created in partnership with ScanBuy, the bar codes, which can be scanned by cell phones, are designed to simplify the ticket-buying process for consumers and appear on billboards, magazine ads, and other advertising and marketing materials. The digital applications are also integrated in the show program, providing access to additional content.
And as gas prices continue to soar upward, technology is also a big selling point for exhibiting carmakers, with brands like Chevrolet, BMW, Nissan, and Mitsubishi showcasing electric-powered vehicles at their exhibits on the floor.