Morgan Pritchett
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How to Prepare for the 2017 Chicago Auto Show

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2017 Chicago Auto Show

What cars will be unveiled at CAS this year?

Visiting an auto show for the first time can be somewhat of a daunting experience. For me, the first show I attended was the Chicago Auto Show, which also happens to be the nation’s largest auto show in regards to square footage (over 1 million square feet of exhibit space, actually).

As a photographer for The News Wheel in 2014, I left the show physically and mentally exhausted.



While most attendees will be visiting simply for a fun time, there are still a few things to consider if you want to have the best experience possible. Let me break it down for you with these four useful tips.


1. Wear the proper apparel

Comfort is key for an enjoyable auto show experience. The first year I went to CAS, I wore a form-fitting button down shirt, slacks, and brand new boots – this was a mistake. By the end of the day, I would’ve agreed to having my feet cut off via historic war methods with just a hacksaw and some whiskey.


The following year, I wised up and purchased gel insoles for my already comfortable shoes. I also opted for a looser fitting clothes for maximum comfort. My body thanked me at the end of the day and I was able to see way more cars than the year before.


2. Get hip to physical fitness

If you want to see it all, be prepared for long periods of walking and standing. There are usually few places to sit down at an auto show (aside from the interior of some vehicles) and what might look like a spot to sit could actually be part of a display that will get you yelled at by an auto show employee…


To prepare for CAS, I started doing light cardio and yoga to stretch out my muscles. The last thing I wanted was to fall on the floor, suffering from a leg cramp.


3. Bring a bag for goodies and snacks

Aside from unveiling awesome new concepts or upgraded vehicles, most of the automakers try to get people to visit their designated areas by offering free gifts. These freebies can include Frisbees, key chains, t-shirts, and even hats. It’s always a great idea to bring a bag to hold all your goodies.


Okay, now the important part – FOOD. Some of the automakers offer light appetizers or treats here and there, but it might be a good idea to bring some extra snacks and drinks so you don’t pass out from hunger or dehydration. The Chicago Auto Show staff randomly selects patrons for security screenings throughout the day, but your energy drinks and granola bars shouldn’t get you kicked out.


4. Become familiar with the map

Like I mentioned earlier, the Chicago Auto Show is huge. It’s separated into two enormous open areas of McCormick Place and getting lost is easier than you think. If you want to see specific car brands, take a look at the map to figure out the best way to get there. Thankfully, the Chicago Auto Show has a free mobile app (available on iPhone and Android) that provides visitors with a digital map and many other helpful resources.



Alright, that’s it! With these simple steps, you should be on your way to becoming a Chicago Auto Show pro. Our team will be heading to Windy City next month, so stay tuned to The News Wheel for all the latest updates from the 2017 Chicago Auto Show!


Video: Check out the 2017 preview of the Chicago Auto Show

  • Morgan PritchettManaging Editor

    Morgan currently resides in Dayton, OH after living across the entire nation (seven different states, to be exact) and even in Germany for a few years. Originally a graphic design major, Morgan floated around and eventually found her calling in writing and editing after working in marketing for a few years. Her hobbies include: board games, concerts, knowing way too many song lyrics, hiking, video games, quoting pop culture, and watching sports. It is advisable to not give her coffee after 3pm. See more articles by Morgan.