Member News

First Auto Show Since Start Of Pandemic Safely Takes Place

DeeDee Taft, Principal, Spin Communications 
January 2021

It can be done! The first auto show since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic successfully took place December 18-20, 2020, at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), in Orlando, Florida. The 2021-model Central Florida International Auto Show featured not only the latest vehicles and dozens of test drives but also enhanced health and safety precautionary measures to protect attendees, vendors, employees and the surrounding community.

“The show went great, from the product specialists to the attendees, everyone felt safe, abided by the safety guidelines and were happy to be there,” said FCA Events Manager Beau Puffer. “Additionally, the people that attended the show were buyers, as our hand raiser and lead numbers were up 20 percent! Moving forward, FCA plans on participating in any auto show that is open because that is where the buyers go to shop.”

Pre-screenings, temperature checks, face masks, social distancing, car sanitizing crews, health and safety coordinators and plastic shields were a big part of the safety measures taking place as well as wider aisles and more physical space around each vehicle. Attendees were also encouraged to purchase tickets online and contactless ticket scanners were activated at the show entrance.

“We have been working since March 2020 with the CDC and our design teams to re-enter auto shows,” said George P. Johnson SVP John Tulloch. “We were very pleased to see, firsthand, how well everything fared including the health and safety measures, OEM participation, attendee engagements as well as observing an audience who was happy and comfortable returning to an auto show,” Kudos to Central Florida Auto Dealers Association President Evelyn Cardenas, her team, the OCCC and the City of Orlando for orchestrating such a great event where safety came first. We were proud to be part of the production and look forward to carrying this momentum forward in 2021 for future shows and events.”

This year’s auto show featured:

  • Hundreds of New Model Vehicles – Attendees were able to safely enjoy an up-close look at hundreds of new vehicles, including the 2021 Ford Bronco, 2021 Ford Mach-E, 2021 Ram TRX, 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4XE and more.
  • Test Drives – Licensed drivers were invited to get a feel for the performance and handling of dozens of new vehicles from several manufacturers including Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Jeep, Ram and BMW.
  • Camp Jeep® Off-Road Test Drive – Professional 4x4 drivers took passengers on a thrilling interactive adventure along an off-road test track at Camp Jeep® featuring all-new Jeep models.
  • RAM Truck Test Drive Experience – Truck fans were invited to experience firsthand, the towing and maneuverability on the latest RAM trucks.
  • Multi-million-dollar Exotics Display – An up-close look at ultra-luxury vehicles from Bentley, Lamborghini, Karma, Rolls Royce and more.

Since July, the OCCC has successfully resumed hosting live events under modified operations, safely hosting thousands of attendees and exhibitors. The event was originally set to take place in September but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The auto show took place at the Orange County Convention Center (North Concourse), located at 9400 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819. 

Let's Disinfect crew sanitizing  cars at Central Florida International Auto Show. Photo by DeeDee Taft

Chevrolet product specialist assisting attendee at Central Florida International Auto Show. Photo by Matt Adams

Ominsense Systems Mass Fever Screening System in action at the Central Florida International Auto Show entrance. Photo by Matt Adams