Commentary: Are You Ready for the Twin Cities Auto Show?

Me, being interviewed for Univision Minnesota at the 2016 Twin Cities Auto Show – Photo from the Victory & Reseda archives

Chicago was a memory. Twin Cities is on the clock.

Auto shows used to be a big thing for me. While I go to them to do work, I used to think that work was fun. Not anymore.

It's work. Mining stories for content. Finding meaning in the event. Coordinating write-ups, photography, videos, and driving social media to all content. Then, there's the physical aspect of being there – walking, running, talking, taking photographs, absorbing information, and so forth…

Not that I'm complaining. Yet, I feel like I am. There is a reason why this perception is somewhat real.

We have been accused of being jaded once we reach a certain point in our career. Frustration is a factor. The routine and the grind of it is another. Once you become jaded to the point of being numb to any news story or vehicle launch – you might as well change careers.

What I want is to make this work fun. It is work, after all. But, why can't it be fun again?

Specifically, why can't auto shows be fun again?

You can say "the fun is what you put into it." True. Still, I want to be able to walk the floor of a convention center with a spring in my step without worrying about new blisters on my feet and the wardrobe I must wear for the big media shot.

On Saturday, March 10, the Twin Cities Auto Show will re-open inside the Minneapolis Convention Center. It will be bigger than ever, with new exhibits, more Ride-and-Drives, more interactive displays, and more involvement by…ehem…yours truly.

How am I going to make this fun this year?

For one, I brought in my colleagues from slashMedia into the Media Preview this year. There is no set content I will be asking for. It is their local auto show to create content for their portfolio to help drive new clients for their services.

Secondly, I will be bringing in a group on the following weekend. My new role with the Upper Midwest Great Northern Region of the Lambda Car Club International leveraged a date for the club and other interested folks to tag along on St. Patrick's Day for a day at the auto show. My role is part-proctor, part-I'm going to do all the things I want to do during a public day. They just follow me…hopefully.

Lastly, I have absolutely no agenda for this auto show. I already did what the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association/Greater Metropolitan Automobile Dealers Association has asked me to do. I engaged with the auto show’s public relations firm, as to what I needed from them.

In turn, I'm grateful that I am a primary local media source for the show among the printed/electronic press. It took several years to accomplish this. I am the first to get press releases and to engage with the show's producers. I attend the roll-in the day before the public opening and Media Preview. I try to be a guide for other media…not often, but I'm there.

All of this is great, but I always feel that I should do more.

But, how can I do more when I (a) do not have the largest reach of any credentialed member of the automotive media in this region, (b) does not work for a more prominent media outlet than Lavender Magazine, and (c) has been very disappointed by some turn of events regarding his own work?

Let me say this: I am hard on myself. I take things personally. Yet, I am a creative person. Last time I checked, most of us wear our hearts on our sleeves. We put our work out there with every intent on getting in front of people and paying patrons. I am also a stubborn ass. I know my limitations and try to stretch them when I can if the results are indeed achievable.

I am also fearing my age and health. At 54, I am not as sprightly, energetic, and enthusiastic as I once was. I also lost the patience of plenty of people in the enthusiast community recently to spurn further away from participating in it.

Aside from all this, I was told by the lead PR person at the Twin Cities Auto Show that I am on the top of her communications reach when it comes to matters concerning this show. It took years to get to this point, and I am very grateful for this.

Jit also motivates me to accomplish the work of propping the Auto Show for enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike – and for you. The bottom line is this Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota, and Upper Midwest market matters. We need a robust Auto Show to engage consumers, car lovers, and everyone. Between the new ballroom space, the Hurst Heritage cars, and the expanded Ride & Drive offerings, the time is right for this market to be delivered this kind of Auto Show experience.

Regardless, you have to go. It all starts Saturday, March 10 at 10:00 AM at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Look for stuff on here from it.

Enjoy the Twin Cities Auto Show. Don’t worry about me. I'll manage through this one…

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