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By Lisa Hart, Senior Vice President, Center for Automotive Research
We’re all wrestling with a new normal during the corona virus pandemic. Business events especially have needed to transform – to continue to serve their purpose of connecting people, ideas and actions to further develop relationships and succeed in showing a return on investment.
One of the automotive industry’s premier events, the CAR Management Briefing Seminars (MBS), is transforming its traditional Traverse City gathering to a virtual event, August 4-5. The team at CAR needed to shift gears after already launching registration for the live event. Needless to say, it’s been a learning experience, but the initial feedback from speakers, sponsors and attendees has been positive.
Using the V Fairs platform, MBS attendees will still benefit from the quality of the sessions content– focused on a wide variety of critical topics facing the industry, including a focus on how COVID – 19 is impacting the industry. An added benefit is that, unlike our live event, attendees will be able to catch concurrent sessions since all sessions will be available on demand after the virtual event takes place.
Attendees will still be able to connect with other attendees through V Fairs’ virtual networking.
And, depending upon state guidelines related to gatherings, we’ve been exploring the options for live events to run in conjunction with the sessions.
Sponsors and exhibitors, too, will benefit from a broader digital platform – CAR is working with other organizations to promote the event to attract attendees across the country, and internationally. In previous years, the attendance was 900-1,000. With a virtual event, we’re able to expand the reach beyond the capacity of a physical location.
As part of the MBS transformation, the pricing has been adjusted for registrations and sponsorships. Proceeds from the event continues to support CAR’s nonprofit mission.
Every day, CAR researchers work to fulfill our mission to educate and provide analysis of the critical issues in the industry. Their knowledge and expertise lead the sessions at CAR MBS to continue the tradition of relevant, useful sessions. In addition, leaders from a broad variety of industry stakeholders are confirmed to participate.
Of course, some of the traditions prior attendees have come to expect will be unavailable this year. The famous Yellow Tent at the Grand Traverse Resort—site of numerous social hours over the years–won’t be an actual part of this year’s event. But virtual networking experiences will lead to new business connections, and an exciting new experience for all!
About the Author
Lisa Hart, senior vice president, leads the Management Briefing Seminars team at the Center for Automotive Research; she has been involved with the event for many years. Lisa was instrumental in the creation of CAR in 2003 as a nonprofit organization and since then, has been involved with operations, events and strategic planning. She is a member of the CAR Board of Directors and also serves as the corporate secretary. In January 2020, she completed a master’s degree in nonprofit administration at the University of Notre Dame.
CAR’s mission is to conduct independent research and analysis to educate, inform and advise stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public on critical issues facing the automotive industry, and the industry’s impact on the U.S. economy and society. www.cargroup.org.