For many of the students enrolled at the Automotive Business School of Canada at Georgian College in Barrie, the Georgian College Auto Show represents one of the high points in their academic year.
At this annual event, more than 150 students lend their talents and expertise to serve as brand ambassadors for the two dozen automakers that showcase their vehicles. This opportunity to volunteer adds a valuable dimension to the students’ education.
Over the years, I’ve spoken to many of the participating students from the automotive degree and diploma programs at ABSC. Some of these students have served on the show’s organizing committee, while others have served as brand ambassadors.
All of these students spoke highly about their auto show experience, where, for three days, they get to interact with representatives from the major automakers and with the public, in a sales-free environment. This ‘hands-on’ involvement gives participating students the chance to apply their skills and network with auto industry people.
The Georgian College Auto Show is billed as the largest outdoor, student-run auto show in North America, and the planning and organizing requires almost a full year. Between 10,000 and 15,000 visitors attend the show from across southern and central Ontario.
For participating automakers, the Georgian College Auto Show is a perfect venue to showcase the latest models after the major city auto shows each winter. It allows them to meet and interact with the next generation of automotive workers.
This year’s auto show marks the 32nd year that Georgian College automotive students have organized this much-anticipated event. From the show’s earliest years to the present, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association has been a strong supporter; again this year, the TADA is involved as a major sponsor and will have a presence in all of the show’s advance marketing.
The show’s marketing and media relations department will promote the show on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat), on its website, and through livestreaming. Local radio stations and newspapers will also be utilized.
This year’s theme is ‘Experience Innovation,’ which will focus on innovations in safety technologies, fuel advancements and the connected car experience. The show will feature in-depth demonstrations presented by the students based on their extensive product training; a more interactive KidZone; a redesigned Pfaff track, Saturday and Sunday Show and Shine for customers to display vehicles; and a new show layout.
In addition to new vehicles, the show will feature a live auction with terrific donated merchandise. A portion of the proceeds will go toward automotive student scholarships.
The Pfaff Autocross Track will provide visitors with an exhilarating off-road experience. For a minimum donation of $5, you can have your own escorted test drive on a dry track. All donations will go toward a local charity.
There is also an expanded KidZone, a Plug’n Drive — where visitors can test-drive an electric vehicle — and guest speakers.
The Georgian College Auto Show Committee is proud to support Spinal Cord Injury of Ontario. SCI Ontario will have a full complement of accessible vehicles on site for viewing.
The auto show hours are Friday, June 2 (noon to 6 p.m.), Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Daily admission is $5 in advance, $7 at the door for adults, and kids under 12 are free, plus parking is free. For more information and detailed times on all the events, visit www.georgiancollegeautoshow.ca.
I encourage all car enthusiasts to check out the Georgian College Auto Show this year. These automotive students do themselves, their school and the automobile industry proud with their commitment to producing an outstanding event.
This column represents the views and values of the TADA. Write to [email protected] or go to tada.ca. Larry Lantz is president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and is a new-car dealer in Hanover, Ont.