2015 North American International Auto Show Kicks Off Busy Year for Detroit

February 3, 2015

The 2015 North American International Auto Show, which wrapped up recently at Detroit’s Cobo Center and drew more than 800,000 attendees, is just the first big show of many that are headed to the city this year.

NAIAS attracted a total of 808,775 attendees at this year’s event, compared with 803,451 who attended last year.

“For two weeks, we’ve seen the confidence and felt the commitment that auto manufacturers have placed in our show and in our city,” said 2015 NAIAS Chairman Scott LaRiche.

He added, “They unveiled unbelievable products in dramatic fashion; they built beautiful new, interactive displays; and dozens of amazing digital screens created a sensory extravaganza. And for the last eight days, during the public show, people have smiled from ear-to-ear from the moment they arrived. Now that’s confidence.”

The show is the premiere place for auto manufacturers to show off their latest models, including out-of-this-world concept cars.

"We continue to work hard to maintain the confidence, trust and partnerships with the global automakers,” said NAIAS Executive Director Rod Alberts.

He added, “We support the promise of the original NAIAS organizing committee which, 26 years ago, said: 'you bring the cars; we'll bring the media.' I think it's safe to say, we kept our promise."

The 8-day show kicked off in spectacular fashion with more than 14,000 people dressed in tuxes and evening gowns who took part in a special charity preview.

“It’s the largest charity event in the U.S.,” said Bill Bohde, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. “It’s a fantastic way to jumpstart our year. It does wonders for our hotel community and also restaurants and entertainment.”

The attendees to the auto show also were able to take in the 4-year renovation project at the Cobo Center, which included adding more exhibit and meeting space, a new atrium and ballroom, as well as several other improvements.

“We are 99 percent complete (with the renovation),” Bohde said. “The reaction so far has been phenomenal.”

There will be plenty more people who will be checking out the center’s upgrades this year as well, especially the more than 5,000 association executives taking part in the American Society of Association Executive’s Annual Meeting in August.  

Bohde said about ASAE’s annual event, “It’s known as the Super Bowl for the (meetings) industry. We’re ready to put on quite a show."

For more info on the ASAE annual meeting follow #ASAE15 and look out for registration opening here: http://www.asaeannualmeeting.org/.

The future is looking good for Detroit as well; jumping from five major groups who booked citywide conventions last year, growing to 14 major bookings this year and 16 already signed contracts for next year.

Add new comment

Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact