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Top 5 Reasons to Attend an Auto Show

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author photo by Autotrader December 2008

Auto shows provide the public with opportunities to see what's new in the automotive industry, and to get a sneak peek at the future as well. All the major car manufacturers turn out, eager to shine for the public and press, to show off their new directions and stoke excitement in new car buyers.

Most people don't have the luxury of living near Detroit, New York, Paris or the handful of other places where the industry's biggest events take place. Luckily, you can get news on all the major shows and see photos of all the hottest new models without leaving your chair. Just visit our Auto Show Headquarters.

But of course, it's preferable to be there in person, and here are five big reasons why:

1. World debuts
The first look at highly anticipated models almost always happens at an auto show. Beyond that, shows give manufacturers the chance to exhibit the groundbreaking ideas and concepts that may never reach mass production. So an auto show might be your only chance to see in person the cool concepts that are a long way from the open road.

2. Compare makes side by side
Brand loyalty is important to a lot of car shoppers, but many shop by body style instead. An auto show can be the most convenient way to see, for example, all the newest mid-size sedans. Unlike a dealer's lot, you can see the new Altima and the new Accord in the same place.

3. No pressure, no stress
Also unlike a dealer's lot, there's typically no pressure or stress. The best car dealers won't make you feel like you're under the gun, but often times going to the dealership is stressful on its own. On the other hand, shows can be fun events for the family, and you can learn about what's coming to the market at your own pace. It doesn't even matter if you're looking to buy; just go and get behind the wheel.

4.  Follow the crowds 
Real car buffs are always interested in where the industry is going. And since auto shows provide a first look at new models, they can therefore be a launching pad for the next big make, model or trend. The excitement that surrounds some cars is palpable, and observing the location and reactions of the crowd can be even more informative than checking out the cars themselves.

5.  Free stuff 
Who doesn't like free stuff? In addition to glossy brochures of your favorite new cars, most booths are packed with giveaways: shirts, hats, key chains, stress balls and all other manner of Stuff We All Get (SWAG). If nothing else, you'll leave the show with some freebies, though most auto show attendees also leave with valuable knowledge about the industry, the newest technologies, and maybe even their next car. Whether or not you make it to a car show near you, you'll definitely want to visit the New Model Showcase to see what's new in the showroom, and what's making its way there soon.

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Top 5 Reasons to Attend an Auto Show - Autotrader