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AIMS: Visitors flock to Melbourne show

The crowds are back: The 2011 Australian International Motor show in Melbourne show promises to attract the largest post-GFC attendance yet

July date boots initial Melbourne motor show attendance 41 per cent over 2009

General News logo6 Jul 2011

AUSTRALIAN International Motor Show attendance is up so far this year, with more than 80,000 visitors to the Melbourne event since doors opened to the public at 6pm last Friday.

Visitor numbers are so far up 41 per cent compared with the last time a motor show was held in the Victorian capital in March 2009 – the final annual Melbourne-based event before the alternating format between Melbourne and Sydney was introduced last year.

Attendance at Melbourne is so far 27 per cent higher than that of last October’s Sydney event, which attracted just 139,000 visitors in total, down on the 2009 Melbourne show attendance figure of almost 160,000.

Show director Russ Tyrie told GoAuto that compared with this year’s early attendance spike, the previous Melbourne show’s attendance was relatively slow to start with and gained momentum as time went on.

He believes 200,000 visitors “is achievable” and that the move from Melbourne’s traditional March slot to July has several benefits, citing as an example the winter weather’s influence on people’s decisions to partake in an indoor activity.

Mr Tyrie admitted that before the show there was uncertainty as to the effect of holding it during the school holidays, but that so far it has been positive because a lot of families have been using the motor show as an opportunity to entertain their children.

 center imageLeft: Show director Russ Tyrie.

The high number of new car reveals, plus exotic and concept vehicles at the show also increased the event’s attraction.

This was helped by the July date’s distance from other major international shows, enabling manufacturers – by easing the logistics – to bring in show cars like the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, Audi e-Tron, Mazda Shinari, Toyota FT-86 II and Lexus LF-Gh.

GoAuto witnessed large queues and packed stands on Sunday, which Mr Tyrie confirmed was the busiest day so far.

He said that although weekday visitor numbers were understandably lower than at the weekend, attendances had been healthy and that historically weekday numbers steadily increase Monday through to Friday.

Mr Tyrie said attendances for the show’s final two days “can be quite similar to what we have for the opening weekend,” and that an advertising plan was in place to remind potential show-goers that the expo continues throughout this week, ending on Sunday.

The Melbourne motor show dates back to 1925, making it one of the longest-running in the world. This year’s show had a 30 per cent larger floor space than the 2010 Australian International Motor Show held at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

As GoAuto has reported, the Darling Harbour venue has locked the Australian International Motor Show out of a July slot for about 10 years, meaning it will have to continue with the traditional October slot for the foreseeable future, meaning that the gap between shows will alternate between 16 months and eight months.

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