D2Forged – How To Execute a Car Show

A monumental event like the New York Autoshow is the place to be in NYC as it is the most significant North American show besides S.E.M.A. regarding automobiles all year! But this event is not only of interest to car enthusiasts, not by a long shot! This event has captivated a broad audience in almost all New Yorkers. Young, old, big or small, men or women, they all catch the car fever during the show’s running. In a place where owning a car is luxury, the roads are terrible and the weather conditions are far away from the likes of California or Florida, this show is a true escape, a chance to gaze and check out the hottest cars of today and the future. D2 Forged had the opportunity to display several cars in partnership with Pirelli tires. We talked to D2 Forged owner, Derrick Williams, to see the impact on his business.

With hundreds of companies showing their newest and brightest, it’s not a place you walk into just like that and say, “Hey we’re here!” No, it’s a bit more complicated than that. With that in mind, we at D2Forged are glad to have participated in an event like this, with grand production, and some very important partners, two years in a row. Getting the green light for showing your goods and services in a show like this, is not easy.

What does NY Autoshow / Dubshow mean to American automotive fans entirely? How do they perceive it, does it fit into the top tier event category for anyone interest in cars, custom projects and anything related to automotive?

The auto show has always been a monumental event in NYC. Far beyond just car enthusiasts, the show has a captive audience in almost all New Yorkers! It’s as if everyone from small children to senior citizens catch car fever. It’s no great secret that the weather conditions and terrible roads make NYC less than friendly towards cars. I think the autoshow is an escape, a chance to gaze and check out the hottest new cars of today and the future. We are just glad to have have participated in this grand production 2 years in a row.

How do you actually get into the show? Invite only? Application? Certainly some status in the aftermarket industry is needed to get there, right?

It’s not an easy task, getting the green light! In order to get in, you need the type of placement that we have and it takes market presence, a few key insider connections and … of course … money!!!

From a perspective of marketing and promotion, it is estimated that over 1.7 million people enter the doors over the course of the 10days. That being said, the event organizers are extremely selective in allowing non-manufacturer businesses to enter the show.

Last year we applied and purchased a booth space, and this year with partnered with Pirelli tires, in collaboration with the Dub Show tour to take the show by storm. We also had another small booth at the entrance with 2 cars. In total 3 booths had D2FORGED products on display!

You had a booth together with Pirelli. Tell us how D2Forged and Pirelli meet and how was it decided to present best of the best in both aftermarket wheel and tire world together?

We initially met with the marketing director for Pirelli back in 2008 at the SEMA show. There was an obvious mutual respect based on the amazing wheel setups we were doing with their tires and of course … who doesn’t love a mean set of Pirelli’s? We collaborated with them over the course of the next few months on sizing, (ie, the 405 section width 24″ tire!), and continued project builds together.

We ended up being brought together on the show platform by the DUB show in 2010 for Philadelphia, with our vehicles in their booth! For the 2011 show with the Dub Tour headed to NYC it was only natural for us to get with Pirelli again, this time with our Porsche 997tt and Camaro SS.

Are many people involved in the planning of the booth, the show pieces and all that? I’ve heard that these shows are the most stressful times a company can have in a complete year. Is that true?

This is where DUB and Pirelli really shined, they planned and laid out the entire booth ahead of time. The only thing we had to do was approve the schematic and supply the firepower!

Our second booth was laid out in a simple fashion, to display the cars and wheels, so that wasn’t too tough for us.

I know the MAC guys stressed over their layout a bit, I think I saw them revamp it about 2 complete times!! They had every employee from their entire facility moving cars! In the end both displays ended being epic presentations of D2.

What kind of volume of visitors are we talking when it comes to the NY Autoshow / Dubshow? How many of those come, stop and check out the booths of companies like D2Forged?

As I said earlier, its estimated at nearly 2million. I would have to say 75-80%% of those individual visited our hall.

When talking about manpower that is need to prepare and go through with a show like this, how many guys and girls did it take to accomplish this?

There is no way to really put a accurate number to it, because for every person that actually worked the show there is our supporting staff that worked on other facets of the display. Of course our entire staff lent a hand in getting cars there, staged and cleaned. I personally worked all night. We had dinner/breakfast at a diner on 42nd street at 4am! Don’t forget we had 2 booths to set up! But even the staff at our advertising company worked tirelessly around the clock to get our banners, brochures, flyers and other printed materials perfect for the show. We even had the booth guys, and our dealers’ staff helping us out!

What cars were presented by D2 on this show? Why those exactly?

For this show we wanted to present some diversity. We went ultra highline with the German powerhouse Porsche 997 Turbo, which appeals to a more affluent customer, while the all American Chevrolet Camaro SS had that mainstream, approachable appeal. The CAMARO was a grand slam! We also had our own booth at the entrance with a BMW M3 and Lexus ISF, both in electric blue on shining display! For anyone walking away from the show, they had to say that D2FORGED wheels make any car stand out. We bought one of each type of vehicle, yet all of them were celebrities!

Who are the ones getting more attention? You as the owners and promoters or the cars?

Believe it or not at times both! When people see these cars, they get this emotional rush!! They have to break out their phone, or check out the tire size, or ask a question about the wheel spec. It makes people want to talk to us more, and in the course of that they are surprised to find that this car dude that they have been chatting with is actually the owner of the company! That is the most gratifying part of this job, we love what we do, and whether its talking to one person in the parking lot, or over 1.3million people at the NY Autoshow it really shines through!

Being good at what you do is great, but the recognition of your key consumer base makes it even more worthwhile! I couldn’t believe people were asking for my autograph!