Cars in the Cloud Virtual Showcase

For the Australian automotive aftermarket sector, trade fairs have always been key for brands to connect with customers. When the pandemic curtailed physical events, it was an ideal moment to explore digital solutions that could broaden attendance.

GUD Holdings Limited owns around 20 leading brands specialising in the marketing, manufacturing and distribution of automotive aftersales market products. Pico helped them to create an innovative virtual platform for automotive specialists to connect and interact with customers, partners and experts.

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Insight

Business happens naturally when customers and brands meet to ‘talk shop’. In 2020, with business travel and events were off the table, a digital solution was needed to keep this dynamic alive.

Pico aimed to design an easy-to-use, relevant and intuitive experience which would meaningfully connect with the audience, enable peer-to-peer networking and product promotion, and support the needs of mechanics, resellers and service centre owners. The platform’s live Q&A function, the interactive tech talks and gamification were key features to deliver that engagement.

Solution

Held in July and November 2020, Cars in the Cloud was the ANZ region’s first-ever immersive online trade show. Pico’s services to GUD Holdings Limited included creative ideas, layout plans, overall 3D design implementation, UX consultation, advice on connectivity interfaces, and event management. The team also managed client content, arranged the keynote livestream and developed visitor engagement tactics.

In a 3D environment that reproduced the interactivity of real events, visitors were able to engage with inspiring brand content and stop by a ‘virtual café’ to chat. The platform offered brands their own bays with live video and chat functions to allow visitors to have one-to-one chats with brand representatives and watch expert video presentations.

In the conference space, visitors could watch keynote speeches by industry thought leaders and training providers. Once again, visitors could use the live Q&A function to interact with presenters and ask questions. The event also created opportunities for sponsors to have a major presence and to share their insights of the automotive industry.

Tech Talks were interactive live sessions led by experts from leading brands with the aim of showcasing new products and building direct relationships with visitors. As a tool, Tech Talks facilitated live and automated content, registration, live video and text chat, all within a branded environment.

Gamification was a further popular feature, encouraging visitors to explore brand garages and their content. Visitors could accumulate points by engaging with brand content and finding hidden ‘easter eggs’ in the virtual space. The points tallied up to win prizes, with a live leaderboard display showing the results.

Results

Cars in the Cloud gave GUD brands and partner brands a unique digital presence. With more than 1,000 unique visitors and over 10,000 content interactions during the first days of launch, the platform was far more cost effective than a traditional event format in building a community for GUD brands.

Testimonial

“The virtual exhibition gave a vivid, flexible experience for visitors to connect with exhibitors and industry experts. It also enhanced the efficiency of brand-customer communications. Thank you, Pico, for your professional insights and services in making this event a success” – Bart Moonen, Chief Innovation Officer, GUD Holdings Limited

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