Motiv8 events completely eclipse the male-centric, old-school image that the automotive industry is so used to seeing but is now eager to leave behind.
Motiv8 International co-director Steve Lang recently spoke to C&IT Magazine about how automotive events can reach a more diverse audience without breaking the bank.
He says “We ran an event for Hyundai earlier this year where 58% of the people who bought the car are female, so the last thing you want to do is use an event team that is 95% male,” says Steve. “The Motiv8 team is very diverse and when we suggested to Hyundai that the event team be 50% female, they loved the idea.”
“The automotive event industry is mired in traditional values and that’s what the Motiv8 team pushes against. Automotive events, particularly product launches, have happened the same way since I can remember. You get 200 people in a venue, put on a plenary session and a marketing manager comes out to give a speech that can be informative, but not always exciting! Then it’s a series of ‘classroom’ sessions and drive sessions.”
“The automotive industry has traditionally been dominated by men, that includes the training environment. Our audience is getting more and more diverse, so it’s important we relate to them. Greater diversity – whether gender, race, age, learning approach or communication style – benefits everyone by creating a fresh dynamic, bringing different perspectives, new ideas and innovative thinking to the table.”
Rules and regulations
While automotive events come with their own rules and guidelines, it’s not as heavily regulated as industries like pharmaceutical or financial services. As you might expect, the main legislation to be aware of when you have lots of delegates getting behind the wheel of a car tends to be general road law, which can vary from country to country.
“Risk assessments are a vital part of the events that Motiv8 runs. They need to cover a lot of the aspects of driving and we bring in experts to write those assessments,” Steve says.
He also explained that there can be stipulations around the age of drivers for faster cars, to avoid inexperienced drivers under 21 years old getting too carried away in a brand new sports car.
“That’s not to say they’re excluded from the event. If they come along to the event it’s important they can experience the whole day. But that will more likely be from the passenger side.”
Perhaps the most obvious element of automotive events that makes them unique is the potential to crash something very valuable. Motiv8 have had very few incidents over the years due to attention to detail in preparation of the driving elements and how they operate.
Steve explained that if the team are doing a road drive, they install dashcams and plan routes that reduce the chances of an accident. “We make sure our routes are as safe as possible, for example eliminating right hand turns.” That’s one of the most dangerous manoeuvres you can make and a driver might not be used to the car’s gear change or clutch and stall it.”
Budgets have changed
Like many industries that hold regular events, the automotive sector has got better at measuring the effectiveness of conferences, product launches and incentives. There’s more control on spending now – it needs to be justified and bring demonstrable results. Budgets, although still healthy, are not what they were.
Showing off cars
At the end of the day, the primary aim of the events that Motiv8 run is to get people excited about cars. “We’ve got to showcase a vehicle’s capabilities so people can pass that on,” says Steve.