Photo: Travis Okulski / Business Insider
As the only member of Business Insider in Detroit for the auto show, I had my work cut out for me.Press days are just as crowded as public show days. Most of my time at Cobo Hall was spent running between press conferences and fighting other journalists for photos and info on the latest rides.
The schedule is daunting: each presser is 25 minutes with a 10 minute break in between. They start at 8 AM and go straight through for the next 10 hours. Oh, and it is like this for two straight days.
At each conference I’d stake out an opportune place to sit or stand to get pictures. Most of the time it worked out great.
Unfortunately, my prime spot was blocked by a cameraman literally 10 seconds before the new 911 Cabriolet was driven on stage. Since this wasn’t a world premiere, I decided to head over to the Volkswagen press conference and get a good spot before anyone else was there.
The VW stand actually had a balcony with a chic espresso bar. I was able to get a prime spot above the action to take some pictures and see their two introductions: the Jetta Hybrid and eBugster Concept.
This was my first time attending a show as a member of the press and I was taken aback by the sheer number of people present as well as the theatrics used to unveil each car.
I must say there was also far more dancing than I ever expected.
Full disclosure: We would not be able to attend without Ford, who offered to fly us to Detroit and grant us access to the show as well as their design studios.
Just before the presser starts, execs from the company gather in front of the stage. Everyone else in that sea of people is journalists.
As it began, a white Passat TDI drove on stage and let out VW North America CEO Jonathan Browning. He spoke for a few minutes about VW's strong sales performance and then left the stage.
A second later, this girl appeared from stage left and was dancing alone with the Passat for about 30 seconds.
She was then joined by an entire crew. There was still no mention of a car at this point, so it was getting a little awkward.
After the execs were finished extolling the praises of the Jetta Hybrid (45 MPG, can go 42 MPH on just battery power), the lights went down, music came up, and the Jetta moved to a different parking spot.
After some more dancing, execs came back on stage to talk about the styling of the eBugster. It looked exactly like the VW Ragster concept from 2005 to me.
After the presentation, the press is invited on to the stage to get some pictures and take a closer look. It helps to have sharp elbows and also be incredibly inconsiderate.
The key is to be timely. With such a tight schedule, staying at one press conference a minute too long would leave you out of luck for the next one. I was able to get my pictures and run to my next meeting just in time.
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