CAR’s MBS Conference Goes Online
Online format offers lower price, greater accessibility, more flexibility
For more than 50 years, the U.S. auto industry’s premier annual conference has been held in Traverse City, Mich.
That will change Aug. 4-5 when the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars goes online.
The move, of course, was prompted by the realities of battling the coronavirus pandemic. But CAR says the change offers up a host of benefits for attendees, including an array of special features designed to retain the unique features of the in-person seminars.
“It’s such a tough decision, because we’ve been associated with Traverse City for so long,” says CAR CEO Carla Bailo. “But we’ve got a great platform on which to replicate as much as possible of the MBS experience.”
Registrants, for example, will be greeted with a virtual lobby from which to get their bearings. MBS also will feature do-it-yourself chat rooms for registrants, virtual product displays and the ability for exhibitors to set up one-on-one demonstrations of their products.
MBS sessions will be shorter than before, but there will be at least the same number of panels and presentations. CAR also is pursuing in-person “watch” parties, live end-of-day social hours and real-life demonstrations in the metro Detroit area and other locations.
A major positive for this year’s conference, Bailo notes, will be the ability of companies to attend in spite of travel restrictions, tight budgets and/or time constraints. Dropping the registration fee to $349 helps too (AutoBeat readers can trim another $50 off that rate by using MBS promo code “mbsgardner” when they register here).
Moving online also offers registrants the ability to view sessions, all of which will be recorded and available through CAR’s website, in real time or whenever they prefer, for months after the event itself.
The new level of flexibility applies to the event’s panelists and featured speakers—especially those based far from Michigan— as well. Bailo anticipates a mix of live and pretaped participation. She also says MBS likely will add speakers and perhaps some entirely new topics to its agenda right up to the event itself.
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