The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opens to the public on Saturday, and is sure to be busy. For those of you that do not know the NAIAS takes place in Detroit, Michigan at the Cobo Center. Being the motor city, you can imagine how big of a deal the auto show is in Detroit. Tons of people talk about the show, what their favorite cars are, who makes their favorite, what they want to see…etc. What I was surprised to learn while talking to people across the metro Detroit area was a lot of residents actually have never been to the auto show before, and if they had been it hasn’t been for years. Everyone had their reasons, but there were a few that really stuck out. Parking, planning and dress seemed to be the main concerns. I truly believe the auto show is an amazing experience that everyone should check out. That’s why I am going to give you my top five tips for a stress free auto show experience.
1. Purchase tickets at YOUR convenience. You can easily purchase ticket vouchers online or buy your tickets at the door. Therefore you can go when it’s convenient for you, and you don’t have to worry about paying for tickets in advance that you may or may not use. Being able to buy your tickets at the door is great because if something comes up you don’t have to worry about money being wasted, and let’s face it none of us want to waste money.
2. Parking. Now this one might take a little bit of planning. Lots and garages that are closest to Cobo fill up quickly, however there are plenty of lots within walking distance. Lots near Cobo Center are going to be prime parking spots and can cost you upwards of $30 or more. If you don’t want to drop a ton of money on parking, park further away from the venue and take the People Mover over to Cobo Center. Just make sure you bring enough quarters, the people mover costs 75 cents one-way, per person.
3. Eat before you arrive. Detroit is a foodie city from comfort to Caribbean you can find almost anything that you’re interested in eating. There are also plenty of restaurants within walking distance of Cobo Center that you can try once you have parked. Of course, if you want convenience there is a food court within Cobo as well as some snack food. However, be ready to pay premium amounts for the food that probably isn’t going to be as good as something you can find around the city.
4. Dress code. What you wear doesn’t matter, you can wear jeans if you’d like. However, ladies if you’re like me I know you want to dress to impress. Not to mention have a killer outfit for taking pictures next to some serious stylish cars. Keep one thing in mind though, this place is BIG and you will be doing a TON of walking. Which means you don’t want to wear your cutest shoes that are going to cause you pain. In most cases you’ll be spending at least a few hours at the show. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, really comfortable – there’s nothing worse than blisters and unable to walk because you’re uncomfortable.
5. Be patient. I’ll be honest it’s going to be crowded, and I definitely know how frustrating crowds can be. I am 4’10” so I feel like I constantly am saying “am I invisible?), because people are always running into me. It’s easy to think that everything is about you, and your personal experience at the auto show. Just remember everyone is there for the same reason as you are – to check out the cars. Remember to take a deep breathe and be courteous and polite with others.