Just like last year, the best booth at the 2016 Manila International Auto Show wasn't necessarily the biggest. In 2015, Volkswagen Philippines' 460sqm corner beat those of Mazda (1,000sqm), Ford (750sqm) and Subaru (690sqm) for the trophy. This year? Chevrolet Philippines accomplished the same feat, likewise besting rivals with much larger display areas. The company won the "Best Booth" award in spite of ranking merely fifth in terms of floor space.
What was so special about the Chevrolet Hub at this year's MIAS event? Allow us to point out five standout features of the American carmaker's booth:
1. Just the right size. It's interesting to note that Chevrolet's MIAS 2016 booth was exactly the same size as last year's Best Booth awardee, at 460sqm. Perhaps this is the most ideal booth size in a crowded exhibition hall. Or perhaps the judges give extra points to those that are able to squeeze the most out of every square inch of the show floor. This year, four other brands had bigger spaces--Subaru (689sqm), Ford (662sqm), Hyundai (651sqm) and even Tata (500sqm)--but it was Chevrolet's booth that offered the most value to visitors in terms of the stuff they could do while hanging out in the area.
2. It's the brand, dimwit! Visitors were immediately greeted by the big-*ss bow-tie Chevrolet logo as they walked toward the booth. In fact, this was visible even from afar, serving as a visual invitation to people who were simply wandering aimlessly. One look and there was no mistaking it: The corner was all about the brand. Not sexy booth babes. Not celebrities. Not self-absorbed company executives. It was about the brand--right, left, front and center. More important, the company put up what it called the Heritage Wall, which explained the origin and the evolution of the Chevrolet logo, and showcased iconic automobiles in Chevy's history. Memo to carmakers: Put the spotlight on your brand, not on yourselves.
3. Lounging around. This, we think, was the icing on the cake that won the nod of the judges (and the attention of the visitors). The booth had a section called Chevy Lounge, a diner-looking area that served good coffee and provided reliable Wi-Fi signal. They also gave freebies here. The idea was to convince clients and journalists to stick around longer at the Chevrolet booth. Did it work for us? Yep. Not going to say no to that cookie from Yardstick Coffee.
4. Easy-to-navigate car-display layout. To be honest, the Chevrolet cars on display weren't something one would write home about. The main attraction was the Sail subcompact sedan, a model that would be totally ignored next to a Corvette. But at least the vehicle displays were well-arranged, offering generous space for people to walk around in. This must have proved popular among car-shoppers who went to the show to conduct 360-degree inspection checks of prospective vehicles.
5. Classy-looking booth models. Whatever your opinion is about women standing next to cars at motor shows, you'd be hard pressed to frown upon Chevrolet's booth ambassadors at MIAS 2016. That's because they didn't really show skin just to draw the crowds. Instead, they wore outfits that wouldn't look out of place in a corporate setting. Maybe it helped that Chevrolet Philippines' marketing boss is a lady (and mother to a young daughter). By doing this, the brand also discouraged sleazy old men from swarming all over the area--those douchebags don't really go to car shows for the cars anyway.