In years to come, 2020 will undoubtedly be seen as a pivotal moment for traditional auto shows in the Philippines. With coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions being enforced—numerous events rescheduled if not cancelled altogether, social distancing observed, large gatherings no longer permitted and travel strictly regulated—the group behind the annually held Manila International Auto Show believes the answer now lies in holding virtual auto shows.
The idea is a simple one: visitors can wander around a virtual exhibition hall from the comfort of their home, either on a computer or a mobile phone. Each participating car manufacturer has a booth to itself, which it can set up however it likes to keep everything on-brand. There could also be a virtual presenter who will talk to the visitor about the various vehicles as he or she approaches each of the displays. The visitor could also enjoy a 360-degree imagery of what’s in his or her immediate vicinity.
A test drive may even be requested with a partner dealership.
“The great thing about virtual auto shows is, it’s free entry for the user and available through whatever platform he or she is on. For the participating car manufacturers, this is their chance to be more creative in their booth set ups. And since virtual car shows can be attended from any device and across borders, organizers can also benefit from a bigger audience attending the event, with higher chances of these prospects converting to customers,” said Jill Ang, the Managing Director of Worldbex Services International, co-organizer of the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) Wired, an online version of the annual spectacle that will go live starting Dec. 16 up to 20, 2020.
First and only virtual auto show
Ms Ang said: “MIAS Wired is the first and only virtual automotive event in the country. It will bring together the biggest automotive brands and car enthusiasts to showcase the latest updates in the automotive industry. Participants will have the opportunity to check the latest car models which will conquer the road soon, as well as get an insider’s access to various car showrooms at the comforts of their own space. The latest innovations and newest automotive trends will also be discussed in this highly anticipated event.”
Participating car brands and partners of this year’s MIAS are Changan, Chery, Foton, Hyundai, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, Jaguar/Land Rover, Jeep/Dodge/Ram, Mercedes-Benz, Geely, BMW, MG, Chevy, and Petron.
Since opening its doors to the public in 2005, MIAS remains to be the most anticipated motoring and driving event in the country. MIAS consistently gathers more than 200,000 visitors across the country every year boosted by strong participation from almost 1,000 partner brands and associations.
Alvin Uy, MIAS co-organizer and car enthusiast, believes that MIAS Wired happening this week puts to rest all speculation that the much-anticipated auto show would be canceled altogether this year after organizers announced on social media last March that its April 2020 show would be rescheduled at a later date.
“MIAS this year just shifted gear and explored the virtual realm with the holding of the MIAS Wired. What to expect? Apart from being able to check the latest car models, know the latest innovations and newest automotive trends, there will also be other activities and engagements designed for the car enthusiasts,” Ang added.
For more updates and to register for free, visit www.manilaautoshow.com or follow the Manila International Auto Show on FB & IG @ManilaInternationalAutoShow.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.