CAS: 2016 Behind The Scenes

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to work the Chicago International Auto Show. Which happens to be the largest auto show in the United States. Let me preface this by saying I just recently started working at Court Street Ford at the beginning of January so by no means would I say that I’m experienced in this field. However, it was one of the cooler experiences I’ve had in my life to date, and I’m definitely better prepared for my job now because of it.

If you’re interested about how the event works, keep reading! I’ll give you guys a quick down low of how my day went.

6 AM: Roll out of bed early to make sure that I have plenty of time and am ready to be at the Ford control room earlier than needed. (Luckily for me I was staying at the Hyatt McCormick Place and only had a short walk to the auto show floor.

7:30ish: Start heading up to the control room or main meeting area, at this point I’m really not sure what to expect. I had never been to McCormick before and therefore had no clue how to navigate the massive building. Luckily the maps were very easy to follow and had plenty of time to spare. All of the models that would be working the show floor showed up around this time as well and needless to say I wasn’t overly upset about that.

8 AM: They let all of us who have gathered into the control room where we are given name tags, blue and red striped ties, and our dark blue Ford jackets. At this point I couldn’t tell if I was more excited or nervous. After getting all of our items together we met for a short meeting. They started out by taking the time to recognized any first timers and from the get go it was easy to see that I was going to be the youngest one there. I was also the only non-car salesman present as well (marketing is more up my alley).

9 AM: After our meeting finishes up we head down to the show floor, we get 15 minutes to scope out the rest of the displays but are then expected to plant ourselves in an area and stay there for the next 6 hours until we get our lunch break.

3 PM: Let me tell you, by the time lunch rolled around I was ready to be done. My feet were tired and I had met and greeted so many people that it was beginning to turn into a reflex. Luckily the lunch provided was some amazing lasagna and helped me to get some more energy to work the second half of my double.

4 PM: “The Home Stretch”, I definitely needed some extra motivation to get through this. At the beginning of the shift I was beginning to think I bit off a bit more than I could chew, but luckily for me my family was in town and came by about halfway through. The shift was basically the same as the first, I don’t think I’ve said hello to so many people in my life.

9 PM: The auto show normally ends at 10, however since I’d been there and had worked a double I was allowed to take off early.

Overall I’d say it was a great experience. My feet were tired but the preparation I’d put into it was well worth it, and it’s been very beneficial to me on the job as well. If you have the opportunity to work the auto show at any point in your life I’d recommend at least doing it once!

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