Being part of the BMW M Festival this past July, was huge. It was the first time that BMW held the event in North America and I don’t think it will be the last.
The automotive landscape is changing fast, and as gas prices increase and car-sharing continues to grow, car buying will become more of a luxury. Festivals and events similar will become more popular amongst the automakers in effort to reach their consumers better. For years, artists and musicians have seen the value of festivals as a way to connect with their audience, and now automakers will be doing more of the same.
Slowly as policies and infrastructure changes, people will be more likely to use public transportation and downsize from 2-3 cars to 1. So if you’re buying a car, you’re probably;
- A family with children living in rural areas
- A truck owner who needs to haul
- An enthusiast buying the flashy, loud cars
- A Classic/Vintage car owner
Retail stores are going to slowly steer away from huge showrooms and use the space to focus on service and repairs. Instead, the sales process will be more about experiences rather than the one on one conversations in a closed environment.
Cars are meant to be driven, not displayed in showrooms. The touching, feeling, smelling, and driving is what sells the cars. People who own Volvos for years, and continue to purchase Volvos do so because they are behind the wheel and love the car itself. It’s the car that converts a driver/owner to a life-long fan.
The BMW M festival did all that in two days. It brought the experience of driving an M vehicle directly to the consumer. It made the feel accessible to the drivers. The driving experiences were so well coordinated and allowed drivers to have an unforgettable connection with the car and brand.
Of course, the entire time I was working the event, I was dreaming of what it would be like to plan an Electric Vehicle Festival. How amazing would it be to let people experience EVs in an open area? I imagine the event would be in nature, by a lake or on a vast field in front of the mountains. Perhaps there's a dam or windmill farm that would power the event, or we could install solar panels around the perimeter of the field. The automakers would set up their best looking EVs at the foot of a hill and take people on test drives along a winding road. I imagine hand-picked vendors like charging station providers ready to present to homeowners and condo owners. I see insurance reps and electricians lined up to answer questions from future EV owners. I see a stage with current EV owners being interviewed (by me). I see local farmers and fresh food vendors, setting up red and white checkered umbrellas around picnic tables. Maybe there's a petting zoo with bleating goats and oinking pigs running around.
Um excuse me, but who invited Tim McGraw??? If this is my dream, and we're going to have country music, then I want Shania and Nelly.
OH and on that lake, I mentioned earlier, I see a few electric boats and people fishing.
An entire weekend of electric-powered vehicles and zero emissions surrounded by fresh air and kids playing.
I can see it so clearly.
And if so, would you attend this EV Festival?