2014 WAS overview behind the scenes After the snowy start to the Auto Show Preview, Washington weather was cold and clear on public days

2014 WAS overview behind the scenes

After the snowy start to the Auto Show Preview, Washington weather was cold and clear on public days

The Washington Auto Show is nothing if not adaptable. The first preview day scheduled for Tuesday Jan. 21 brought the most snow Washington has seen since 2010, and a winter weather emergency. As schools, airports and the federal government closed, WAS organizers scrambled to reposition and reset the schedule for Industry/Media Day, the following day, Wednesday, January 22. In the end, it all worked out.

Despite weather that effectively shut down Washington on the Auto Shows first preview day, we rebounded quickly and seamlessly, taking care to reschedule our National Journal event from the day before on Capitol Hill to the second preview day for the media and industry, said Barbara Pomerance WAS communications director. When all was said and done, 2014 proved to be our most successful show ever, from the perspective of media, our industry stakeholders and the public at large.

Political commentator Charlie Cook, pictured above, originally scheduled to speak in the Cannon House Office Building on January 21, appeared instead the next afternoon on Auto Show Media Day and gave his midterm election forecasts to a packed room.

But Industry/Media Day was not without its own hitches, dealing with fallout from the weather emergency the day before. Front and center was the matter of Newsmaker Breakfast keynoter Mark Fields, COO of Ford Motor Company, who because of the snow the day before was unable to fly from Detroit to Washington to be present in person.

Heres where 21st Century technology came to the rescue, said Pomerance who conferred with Ford communications professionals while the snow was falling the day before Fields scheduled presentation to arrange for an interactive video conference presentation. It couldnt have worked out any better for the media that packed the Ford space to hear Fields presentation while being able to interact with the state-of-the-art vehicles he was talking about by way of Fords product executives on the ground at the breakfast, Pomerance said.

The other major logistic the day of the snow storm was the maiden voyage of the International Motor Press Association /WAS Media Train en route from New York to DC. The train car load of seasoned automotive reporters on the Auto Show train sponsored by Nissan USA delivered the news gatherers to Union Station and ultimately the Walter E. Washington Convention Center timely and safe to participate in the day long WAS media events.

The only other logistic we ran into on Industry/Media Day was the rescheduling of our other keynoter, Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy, whose people contacted us as the snow was falling the day before to say that the secretary needed to move from the afternoon to the morning because of an unexpected meeting at the White House with the president, said Pomerance. A change-up, for sure, but not a weather related one, she said.

For a complete report on all WAS Industry/Media Day activities, see WANADA Bulletin #4-14, Jan. 31, 2014, Washington Auto Show Special Edition on www.wanada.org.

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