BIMS, or the Bangkok international Motor Show, and Thailand International Motor Expo, are two of Thailand’s most outstanding and most important global motor retail events, held at BITEC Bangna and IMPACT challenger Muang Thong Thani respectively every year. Other significant shows in the Kingdom of Thailand include many smaller car and bike shows, held to boost retail sales performance at certain points throughout the year.

These shows are attended by some of the most popular car brands in Thailand, including BMW, Mercedes, Toyota, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi & Ralliart, who use these occasions to show off new models and revised facelift models, display new technology and features, and generally create a public relations draw (“buzz”) that gives them more i) name recognition among car buyers, and ii) a chance to close some sales orders (or at least book test drives). Take the chance and start working with the best automotive PR agency for the next event. You’ll also find great and well-respected motorcycle and bike brands like KTM and Husqvarna in their own dedicated 2-wheeler exhibition space, too.

Bangkok Motor Show Public Relations

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Bangkok Motor Show PR - the shows are all the same?

As you walk around the booths and presentations, either on the public days or on VIP & media days, you will quickly come to note that there isn’t a great deal of standout difference that separates some of the displays, in the sense that they all have cars, they all have “pretties” (re-purposed grid girls or “sideliners”), and they all have corporate suits hanging around looking really tired (and often uncomfortable in front of the camera lens).

Many of the brands try to differentiate themselves by having annoyingly loud and bass-y sound systems, flashing strobe light displays and live performance art, but the truth is that each one offers much of the same, and not a lot changes year on year.

The reason this happens is that when planning the PR for their booths, brands always think as workers for the brand, rather than putting themselves in the mind of a) the customer, and b) the media. The actual way, then, for you to make your car brand stand out at a regional motor show such as Bangkok international Motor Show or Thailand International Motor Expo is to make your guests feel like they are VIPs at your booth; that they are privy to a private party, wherein they will be fawned over, and also have a chance to gain some valuable connections they will never forget.

How to make a brand stand out at an Expo

Many of the booth displays follow the same format. They have a reception desk, a customer service assistant, a pretty model who will take photos with visitors on request, glass cases showing accessories and so on, and of course the cars themselves.

What’s often missing from big auto shows in Asia is the things that make these events really pop when they are hosted in Europe.

One luxury sports brand in Europe was always well-known among journalists for offering its guests a luxury espresso and macchiato bar, a vodka back-bar with ice crystal display and sponsored drinks (with a feel like the Emirates Lounge on the back of Business Class long-haul), and a branded VIP access key on a lanyard (offered to media who pre-book a visit), so it’s like ascending the stairs to the stars, to an exclusive nightclub that only you and a few others have access to.

How to engage media when you make a brand pop at a large motor show?

When walking amongst the halls, you will often see media recording videos of salespersons talking about car models. But it’s much better if you can engage them and make them feel like THEY are the VIPs of the experience.

So, invite your media visitors to that they may join a special sofa area with lighting set up to make their filming easy (rather than glare off the polished paintworks of vehicle hoods), and let them order canapés brought to the “TV studio” vibe seating area.

Then encourage the media guest to sit on the sofa and be in the film too, and have your marketing team film that, and offer to send the content to them after, because you really appreciate their efforts to feature your brand. Then give them a VIP keycard with an invite to a trackday afterwards, so you can maintain contact.

These are just some ideas to get you thinking in the right direction. Please contact us via the form for some more in-depth ideation for your expo participation, as we have worked with many, many automotive brands in Asia-Pacific, and have joined the shows as exhibitors or with content support for at least seven years.

Other ideas to help you stand up and be heard at an auto expo

Whether you’re planning to steal the show at BIMS, the Bangkok international Motor Show, or Thailand International Motor Expo, which are the two biggest and most key motorshows and motor sales events in Thailand, there are many things you can do to punch above your weight.

The main takeaway is to present your booth like an exciting, private, members-only space that welcomes all media guests, and then keeps them there in a loud, vibrant, exciting and thrill-drenched experience which puts them at the center of the occasion.

You want people who are at sleepy booths nearby to say, “Oh wow, what’s happening at XX, let’s go check that out now! We don’t want to miss out.” As they arrive, they will see other journalist and editor friends they know, and you can also make your executive team feel like rock stars too – very important if you have senior c-suite directors and decision-makers coming over from Germany and Japan. Show everyone a taste of Thai hospitality, but combine it with the roar of your sportiest model, the coolest music played by a live DJ in “your exclusive club zone”, and make sure you give people a time to remember.

Selling cars is a by-product.

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