The Joke of an Expo – Auto Expo, 2012

Generally speaking, I am not the types who complains, especially when it comes to something automotive. But, the Auto Expo, 2012 was such an  event, or rather a “picnic” that I could not control writing about. You see, it all started right at the beginning. The first two days, which are lovingly called the “media days” are generally set aside for the media, and exclusively at that! We, the journalists are supposed to do an efficient job without having to worry a bit about the lakhs of visitors supposed to be visiting the Expo, each time (or may be even each day at the Expo). So what, you might ask. It all sounds simple, isn’t it? You register yourself, get the pass, go into the Expo, attend the various press launches/ events, work on the events/ pictures/ videos/ website and eventually leave. Wrong!

If we seriously look at it, the issues started right at the very beginning. I am told this year, the media registrations were handed over to a company who is into PR (Public Relations). What one needed to do was to just fill up a simple registration form and send the completed form to the PR agency, who in-turn would take care of the entire stuff, but, unfortunately, that was not as easy as I just made it sound. Despite the team at having sent out the completely filled out form well in time, we did NOT get the requisite passes on time. A few of the team members did get their media passes while the rest of us had no clue what was wrong, neither were we informed on time about this issue. It was such a bad condition, that me and a few of the team members had to visit the media lounge  DURING the various launches to inquire about the media passes, and all we would get for a reply was “it’s almost ready!”. You have to trust me when I say that not having a proper media pass at such a premiere auto show as Auto Expo presents its sweet set of problems, starting with the entry at the main gate, to the hefty looking security guards stopping you at every Hall, whose main “job”, if I may put it mildly, is to stop the journalists from doing what they are meant to do – our job(s)!

Anyways, these issues aside, once I was inside a particular manufacturer’s stall, I expected certain discipline, if you know what I mean. But, what I saw was almost so shocking that it ended up giving me a mild heart-attack! The words “Media” and “Days” were more of a joke than anything else, or so it felt. Everybody, from Raju, Chinky, Minky to their entire families were present at the various stalls, taking up every possible locations they possibly could. This made the lives of journalists really difficult. One is not able to shoot pictures because someone is already there all over the particular vehicle and posing with it, for what seemed like their entire lives to people taking up every possible position and kicking and shoving you to a side just so that they could have a look at the models (famously known as “Booth Babes”) who were standing besides the vehicle. Yes, they didn’t give a hoot to what the actual vehicle is! And what’s more, you ask? Well, here I go – general public who, shockingly had received a “genuine invite” for the Media Day were literally fighting to get their hands on the media kits. They were kicking and snatching the kits from the hands of the officials, and I had to virtually beg on the knees to get my hands on a simple press-release, at particular stalls. There were people trying to get their hands on anything and everything. Yes, it was THAT bad!

If I think about it now, well, we journalists weren’t really the best of the lot either. In all this fight, et al, there were journalists present too who were kicking, punching and shoving with the general public to get their hands on the “gifts” as well. This is just ridiculous, quite frankly speaking. This is not how, we journalists should have behaved in the first place. And things get worse when the public (and the media) gets to know that there were celebrities who were to adorn the stalls of the various manufacturer. For example, at the Yamaha stall, general public as well as the media were going berserk because the “Biker of the Century”, Mr. John Abraham was to grace it. If you really stop and think about it, it does not make any sense, atleast not to me. An automotive manufacturer who wants coverage (ofcourse, they do!) from the media is stopping the media from doing their job because a certain “pseudo-biker” who also happens to be a hot-shot celebrity is to come in and launch the particular vehicle. And this just did not stop there; with celebs like Amitabh Bachachan, Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif coming in, things started to get progressively worse. It was absolutely impossible to get inside the stall, forget clicking pictures of the related vehicles! It was pure madness, I tell you. Infact, the word “madness” does not do two cents of justice to the absolute pandemonium that we all faced.

At the end of it all, the question still remains, who the heck is responsible for all this chaos and utter mismanagement? Yes, you and me must be responsible in our own ways too, but the major blame is ofcourse the organizer’s. This is repeated in every Auto Expo, and not just this; this same shoving, fighting, fist fights, arguments, mismanagement continues for Expos on end, yet no-one seems to even give a shit, no matter what. The organizers say they would take care of this henceforth, and all we are left with are some hoax promises which have no more value than a horse’s behind!

All in all, the Auto Expo, 2012 was more of a “picnic” than a properly organized professional Automotive Expo. Heck, even a “picnic” is more organized and enjoyable than the 2012 Auto Expo! The organizers will now try and claim N number of excuses for the failure of crowd management, etc. putting the blame on each other, and all WE can do is wait for the Auto Expo, 2014 and the madness to repeat itself! Phew, how ridiculous, how shameful; so much for a “premiere” automotive show, which incidentally is 2nd only to the Frankfurt Motor Show, or so I am told!


  • Krishnendu  On January 11, 2012 at 4:17 PM

    -You forgot how the Models were molested by the “suitably well dressed” special invitees during those media days.
    -You forgot how we photographers nearly got mauled by the “mob”.
    -You forgot how the press launches happened within 20 minutes of each other in such a way that it was humanly impossible to cover all the events by the same agency unless they sent an army!
    -You forgot how benches were broken and chairs flew across a certain hall.
    -You forgot the stampede from which we had to extricate ourselves and we made it alive.
    For me, next time, I am gonna watch it from the comfort of my office/home, on Tv or on the Net. To take pictures, I would wait for a better opportunity to do it at a better place that is saner and lets us exploit the situation better than this utter madness where mayhem is the order!


  • Yogesh Sarkar  On January 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    hehe not much differnt from Auto Expo 2010, when the similar scene was repeated. Though I guess this year, it was a lot more chaotic. Heck we didn’t even get the press passes and even though I could have gotten my hands on at least half a dozen, if I wanted, I chose to give it a toss and decided to give no coverage to this two bit event.

    Yes by doing so, I did lose out on temporary traffic, but with the sort of things CII wants one to put up with, in order to cover an event, in which they make tons of money!


  • Tanbir Singh  On January 11, 2012 at 4:38 PM



  • Jharna  On January 11, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    wow … after reading all this it totally changes the image that we got from watching the news and all …. picnic is a very naive word for such a catastrophy … i mean i remember the Ferrari show room launch, it was all so new to me when all the journalists and photographers started swearing in the highest order … and when Bunny told me ” aisa hi hota hai ” but even reading this seems like that was just a childs play compared to this !! wow … lol naukri ke liye kya kya nahi karna padta !!


    • vulpineshooter  On January 12, 2012 at 12:48 AM

      Jharna, you remember the Ferrari launch chaos? That would seem “pleasant” and “mild” as compared to the mob present at the Auto Expo, 2012!


      • Lucky  On June 10, 2012 at 10:20 AM

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      • vulpineshooter  On June 13, 2012 at 4:58 PM

        Thanks, Lucky. I am glad to learn that you found this blog interesting. Rest assured, as I travel through the length and breadth of the country, I’ll keep on updating this blog of mine, and ofcourse with all other things “interesting” too. Thanks a lot, again. 🙂


  • freebirdmani  On January 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Seems like even after years of being away nothing really has changed in the way the expos are held. All I remember from AutoExpo is that it USED to be a well managed event. Not after reading your blog.
    I dont even think it is about the people mismanagement but simply the population outburst that has broken its barrier.
    @ Ken da: Completely familiar with your expressions with each one of the pointer made.


    • vulpineshooter  On January 12, 2012 at 12:45 AM

      Freebird, it has gone from bad to worse with EACH Auto Expo, and THIS year, things just shot over the roof!


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