Tips & Advice For First Time Visitors To The Geneva Motor Show

If you're about to delve into the wonders of the Geneva Motor Show for the first time, you may find this useful...

4y ago

If you've been following my series of blogs in the run up to Geneva, by now you'll know what cars are going to be there, and you'll know everything you need to know about actually getting there and how much it'll cost. But what about the little things you could do with knowing when you're there that you can only really find out through experience?

Experience isn't something to rue; it's a wonderful thing, but you only ever acquire it just after you need it. Well, that's where I come in: to share with you my experience and help make your visitor to the Geneva motor show as great as possible.

Here, I have prepared for you a list of tips and advice you will find very handy for when you go to the Geneva motor show. Honestly, I don't know what you'd do without me (!) So, without further ado, let's get cracking...

1: sitting in cars

One of the things I really wanted to know before I went for the first time was something I'm sure most people will want to know: can you sit in the cars? The answer is yes...sort of. There are many cars available for people to sit in; last year, these included a Mercedes Maybach S600, an Audi R8 V10 Plus, a Porsche 911 Targa, a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, a BMW M6 Gran Coupe, a Corvette C7, and many more besides. Not all the cars are available to sit in however – namely, the more expensive cars and the ones that have recently been unveiled. In order to get a chance to sit in those, you have to look as though you can afford them, which leads me nicely onto my next bit of advice...

2: Dress smart

Wear a suit. "Clothes maketh the man" is the saying, and it certainly hold truth at the Geneva motor show. If you look like you can afford a Ferrari – regardless of whether you're a peasant or a prince – then if you ask nicely, Ferrari will let you into their stand to have a closer look and sit in the cars. You can apply this logic to pretty much every car maker, apart from the really high end stuff such as the Paganis, Bugattis, and Koenigseggs; don't expect to sit in them. It's been known in the past that multi-millionaires have turned up at Geneva with their cheque-book ready to order, but since they've been dressed in jeans, a hoodie, and a baseball cap, they've been refused entry to stands. Always dress smartly!

3: Wifi

You can purchase WiFi to use at the Palexpo (where the motor show is held), but I strongly advise against it! For a start, it's extortionately priced; not to mention an absolute nightmare to operate. It's best just to stick to mobile data providing you have a plan which allows roaming, or, better yet, just stay off Facebook (you addict) and save your battery life! Speaking of battery life...

4: Battery life

There are plenty of charging stations all around the Geneva Motor Show, and they accommodate every type of phone connector. Don't worry about running out of juice and not being able to take as many pictures as you'd like, because there are places you can sit and charge your phone up. And you'll need a sit down with the size of the place...

5: Scale

It's big. I mean, REALLY BIG!! Six halls full of extraordinary machinery that'll easily take you all day to conquer. Even when wearing a suit, make sure you wear VERY comfy shoes. In fact, the one thing you may notice if you're eagle-eyed like me is that all dealership representatives – while dressing smartly in suits – all wear trainers. Let's face it, they've been doing it long enough to know that you need to be comfy. And comfort helps alleviate the stress when it comes to dealing with the many rude people you encounter...

6: People are bastards

People are rude. VERY rude! In typical motor show fashion, the word "etiquette" is only ever used as a means of exclaiming its absence. The moment you flick your camera out, that cues hoards of people to cut directly across you. Even if you're holding a substantial piece of hardware that couldn't possibly go unnoticed, people will barge in front of you and ruin your shot because no one gives half a shit about anyone but themselves. That I'm afraid is just the kind of idiots you have to put up with - unless you can say "fuck off" in every language. Speaking of languages...

7: Language Barrier

When you approach a manufacturer's representative, perhaps to ask a question, you'll know if they speak your language before you start talking to them. This is because every employee has a name badge, and on their badge is a number of flags denoting the languages they speak. Very handy feature!

8: Temperature & Keeping Hydrated

Geneva is an exceptionally wintery place; last time I went, a blizzard came down. 20 miles away, in the Alps, 14 feet of snow fell overnight!! Fortunately, the Swiss are much more accustomed to dealing with this sort of thing that us English. But what the cold weather does tell you is that the heating in the show halls is going to be RIGHT up! This means you'll need to take water with you, because you're bound to get parched. I didn't see whether there were any water venders last time I went. If there are, then they’re likely to charge ridiculous money. Take your own water. If you need to fill up from a tap, do so; Swiss tap water is better than most people's mineral water. Also, you may feel the need to bring a fan with you. They sell "fans" there – which are really just pieces of cheap cardboard that look like table tennis bats. But don't bother buying one, because in traditional Geneva fashion, it'll bring on a bout of bankruptcy. Take a fan, and take your own water.

9: Food

You may also need to take your own food with you due to the fact that the restaurants in the motor show charge hideous prices. Load up with snacks, or whatever won't go off in the heat.

10: Angus Mccoatup

There is also a handy cloakroom there for you to leave your winter-proof coat whilst you perambulate around the wonders of the show.

11: Hall 7

As big as the motor show is, you may not need to go into hall 7 as all that's there is equipment for mechanics. If that's what you like, then be sure to pay hall 7 a visit – but don't expect to see any cars there.

12: Being crafty

Sometimes, while you're sitting in a car, you'll find yourself entering conversation with a dealership rep who'll be trying to sell you it. You may have absolutely no intention of buying the car, but if you can, see if there's any way you can blag a test drive for when you get back home. You never know...

13: The sick bucket challenge

For when you walk passed the Mansory stand, make sure you're carrying a bucket for the subsequent projectile vomiting. You'll thank me afterwards. And finally...

14: Severrrnnnn

If the Ford employees decide they want to dance, do your utmost to not die from either laughter or empathic embarrassment. But do get your phone out to immortalise the event!

Play video

If you wanted a job at Ford, but you have anything resembling self-respect, seeing this video might just be the deal breaker.

So that's it! You're now officially an experienced Geneva Motor Show virgin! Bet you never thought you be one of those, aye? I'll be blogging about the entire event. Any questions, be sure to get in touch and I'll answer them for you.

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Written by: Angelo Uccello

Twitter: @AngeloUccello

Tribe: Speed Machines

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Comments (5)

  • this was at the 1 public day? the poor dancing people had to do this every morning than a motivation for their work day 😃but you forgot to mention the mad press days we had..lots of vip u tubers and others crashed the stands 😣 at the Ford stand the coffee and water was free..however I ll be next year at the press days again

      3 years ago
  • In my mind somebody had rented a stall and was sniping people with questionable material. Must have read it wrong.....

      4 years ago
  • Hillarious video! Tell me more about the sick bucket challenge...

      4 years ago
    • Cheers :). Last year, Mansory's Rolls Royce and Bentley show cars looked as though they were painted in the inevitable vomit. Hideous looking things!

        4 years ago
  • Great tips!

      4 years ago