Industry insider: Managers for next year’s Vancouver auto show in place

The Vancouver International Auto Show is the largest event of its kind in Western Canada and highly anticipated by the industry and car lovers alike.

The 2015 show is eight months away, but here at the New Car Dealers Association of BC, owners of the Vancouver International Auto Show, we’re already revving up for next year’s event.

In fact, the 2015 show is entering a new era with the addition of a new show management team, which includes three of the top auto industry and event experts in the country.

Jason Heard, one of Canada’s most dynamic and experienced show managers, will assume the show manager role for the event; his father Phil Heard, a well-known businessman and event expert, becomes a senior consultant; and Keith Morgan, a highly respected and innovative Canadian auto journalist, will serve as a specialty content consultant.

Keith Morgan 2013-0911.jpg.jpegMorgan’s role will be to help soup up the content at the Auto Show, which will be exciting given the growing number of options available across both traditional and social media.

Meantime, Jason and Phil are promising “a new level of world-class programming and content” for guests at the next auto show.

So what do these changes mean for you, the auto enthusiast?

The addition of these three auto industry experts, not to mention their incredible depth of event management experience, will significantly enhance the guest experience and activation at the event.

Jason and Phil already produce the Vancouver Collector Car Show and Auction, held a few weeks ago at the PNE, and have led some of B.C.’s top events, including the Molson Indy, IDSwest, World Urban Forum and the Vancouver International Boat Show.

The Vancouver International Auto Show is the most important event for the automotive industry in British Columbia and the largest trade and consumer show in Western Canada. The 2014 event, held March 24-29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, featured more than 400 vehicles from 30 companies around the world, which means there is always something for everyone.

More people cruise the auto show each year looking for the newest models, the latest technology, some interactive demonstrations, and to have a little fun with friends and family. More than 84,500 people came through the doors at the show earlier this year, a five per cent increase from 2013.

We’re expecting an even larger audience at next year’s show, particularly after auto sales hit another record in 2013 in Canada, surging to 1.74 million vehicles, according to DesRosiers Automotive Consultants. That’s up from 1.67 million in 2012 and 1.7 million in 2002, the last time the record was set.

There are also a number of new makes and models — and constantly evolving gadgets — that continue to lure guests.

Mark your calendars now because the 2015 Vancouver International Auto Show returns to the Vancouver Convention Centre on March 24-29.

I look forward to seeing you there.

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Blair Qualey is president and CEO of the New Car Dealers Association of BC. You can email him at [email protected]

Arlen Redekop/Postmedia News files
Left: Keith Morgan is former Driving editor of The Vancouver Sun’s former Driving editor. Right: Phil Heard and son Jason are senior consultant and manager respectively for the 2015 Vancouver auto show.

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