6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year

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6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
If you had told me 15 years ago that my life would one day revolve largely around cars, I probably would have laughed and said you had the wrong girl. Unless, of course, you meant Vanessa Carlton and Josh Groban were destined to deliver a red Corvette to my house (followed by cruising around town for a day of singing and shopping) . . . but I digress.

Life’s funny, right? Sometime between taking my SATs and getting my college diploma, I met a guy who loved four-wheeled, engine-powered vehicles more than anyone I’d ever known, and now we’re married and living just outside Detroit (aka, the Motor City). Needless to say, automobiles, auto shows, and all that they encompass are everywhere and have indeed become a huge part of my life.

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by A Girls Guide To Cars in conjunction with the Steel Market Development Institute and the North American International Auto Show. Personal stories and opinions are my own].

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
This year, in addition to visiting the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) with my husband for the eighth consecutive year, I’ll be joining A Girls Guide To Cars (formerly She Buys Cars) and the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) for the second time during press days to bring you sneak peeks and reveals straight from the showroom floor! The tradition of visiting Detroit’s annual auto show has become so ingrained in me, I treat it as second nature and often assume that many locals do the same. Surprisingly, however, I’m always caught off guard by the number of metro Detroiters I come across who skip the show simply because they don’t know what they’re missing. If you’re on the fence about visiting the auto show this year or haven’t planned a trip in a while, check out these top reasons why I look forward to the outing every year (and why you should, too!).

1. You Get To Shop For Your Dream Car

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
Whether you’re ready to sign on the dotted line or daydreaming a few years into the future, nothing beats seeing a comprehensive collection of vehicles in person. Picture a mega showroom floor that has every make and model on the market, with all the latest features available for you to try out. Ever wondered whether it’s worth it to spring for a massage seat, two-tone leather, or full moonroof? See the latest and greatest features up close at the auto show and decide for yourself!

2. You’ll Learn How Cars Are Getting Better Every Year

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
Have questions about the future of auto manufacturing? There are plenty of brand reps on hand at NAIAS to help explain the ins and outs of what makes today’s vehicles safer, stronger, and better-performing than ever before. This year in particular, I’ll be learning and sharing more information from SMDI about how the steel industry is driving automotive innovation in all of the above and all of the following ways:
  • It’s cost-effective. While aluminum is two to three times more expensive than steel, automakers who stick with steel can maintain existing infrastructures and in turn, lower overall costs (which translates to savings for you, the consumer).
  • It’s sustainable. By making cars from steel, automakers encourage environmentally sound practices by using one of the most recyclable materials available. Steel also has the lowest production phase greenhouse gas emissions compared to alternative materials, making it an ideally eco-friendly choice for manufacturers.
  • It increases fuel economy. New manufacturing processes allow automakers to utilize thinner pieces of advanced high-strength steel for lighter vehicles that meet better fuel economy goals without sacrificing strength.
To follow along, join me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook during the auto show for more information and don’t forget to check out the hashtags #DetroitLovesAutos and #SteelMatters!

3. Freebies Galore

I’m not ashamed to admit it: I love me some free stuff. Bags, buttons, flashlights, even Hot Wheels cars—I’ve seen it all at the Detroit Auto Show, and every year, the goodies get switched up a bit. While you can find some of this swag by visiting various manufacturers’ booths, keep a lookout for special pop-up presentations, where you can score more unique items by answering trivia questions or interacting with brand spokespeople.

It’s also common to find coupons and vouchers for various businesses around the Cobo Center during NAIAS (last year, LYFT shared free ride credits with auto show attendees). Keep your eyes open as you roam around and you could end up with some unexpected deals!

4. Interactive Exhibits

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
From computer games to virtual reality driving simulators, the Detroit auto show always serves up fun, hands-on activities that are, on their own, worth a visit. One of my favorites from years past? A Kia Soul dance floor where you could get down to “Party Rock Anthem” with the famous cartoon hamsters! I’ve also wanted to try out Ford’s cool spaceship-looking ride for a few years now, so we’ll see if that’s still in the mix during my next visit. There’s always something new to see!

5. Cool Photo Opps

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
I see you, Insta peeps. If you love a good wall and some meticulously thought-out lighting effects, the NAIAS showroom is made for you. Not only will you have the opportunity to pose with some awesome cars (go ahead, jump behind the wheel of that convertible), you’ll also find lots of colorful, sparkly areas to snap a selfie or group shot for that perfect auto show memory. For even more fun, look for special props and characters (a full-sized LEGO Batmobile, costumed Michelin Man, and 180-degree photo booth were all part of last year’s show).

6. Spend A Day Exploring Detroit

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
If you visit the NAIAS without exploring Detroit, does it even count? With all the new restaurants, stores, and amazing museums throughout downtown and midtown, it would be a shame not to build a whole day around your trip to the Cobo Center. Grab breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner at one of the Motor City’s awesome restaurants, go thrifting for some one-of-a-kind finds, or spend a couple hours admiring famous paintings and sculptures at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Want to save money on parking? Leave your car in one spot and ride the new QLINE up and down Woodward—there’s lots to see along the way.

[CLOSED]: Win Tickets To The 2018 North American International Auto Show!
(Giveaway from A Girls Guide To Cars, SMDI, and NAIAS)

Want to win free tickets to NAIAS 2018? Steel Market Development Institute, the North American International Auto Show, and A Girls Guide To Cars are giving away TEN pairs of tickets, with one grand prize winner receiving an additional $100 gift card! [Giveaway Closed.]


6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To Visiting The Detroit Auto Show Every Year | via Wading in Big Shoes
Contest rules: Entries must be completed by midnight January 19, 2018. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents and subject to the laws of Michigan. Winners will be notified by email by January 20, 2018. Winners MUST pick up tickets in person at the North American International Auto Show, Cobo Center at 1 Washington Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226 between January 20, 2018, and January 28, 2018. Winners may be asked to provide identification to receive their prize. Prize value $30 per prize, not exchangeable for cash or other items. Grand prize value is $130. A total of 10 pairs of tickets will be awarded and a total of 1 grand prize will be awarded.

Will you be attending the Detroit Auto Show this year? Why or why not? Leave your questions and favorite auto show memories in the comments below!

6 Reasons Why I Look Forward To The Detroit Auto Show Every Year-Wading in Big Shoes

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