Driving toward the future

As I drove away from the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association’s inaugural AutoVision conference earlier this week, I considered that the car I was driving will be a relic compared what my young daughter will drive one day. She may even ask me to tell her about the days when cars had steering wheels, or even mirrors.

AutoVision 2015-428eAutoVision reset my thinking on the future of Kentucky’s signature manufacturing industry, and energized a capacity crowd about Kentucky’s role in shaping the automotive frontier.

Too often, when people plan communications strategies, they think only in terms of getting a single message – their message – out to the masses. Sometimes, that’s appropriate. But here at C2 Strategic Communications, some of our favorite projects are those in which we help start a true conversation, when we help our clients engage, collaborate and learn alongside their partners, allies and supporters.

We were thrilled by AutoVision. Here’s what made it a can’t-miss event:

Sold-out. Kentucky’s auto suppliers, manufacturers and support service businesses knew a hot ticket when they saw it – the conference sold out before the opening session. The benefits are twofold: more people means more networking and more collaboration, which will continue to attract high-caliber speakers and panels next year.

AutoVision 2015-022eInsider insights. Did you know that Kentucky’s eighth-grade test scores in science are strong and rising, which is a good indicator for future workforce capacity? Or that by 2025, more than 75 percent of pickup trucks and 20 percent of SUVs and large sedans produced in North America will be aluminum-bodied? How about that within five years, three out of every four new vehicles will be equipped to access the Internet? AutoVision’s speakers had timely and specific knowledge to share with Kentucky’s industry.

Frank talk. Folks at AutoVision knew they face common challenges, and the panels and breakout sessions offered a chance to talk candidly about them. KPMG’s Gary Silberg talked about how on-demand mobility (like Lyft and Uber) will affect car ownership. Mike Hirsch of Bosch declared that to encourage manufacturing as a career, the industry must educate parents early.

KAIA’s first AutoVision conference was a phenomenal success, thanks to a stellar lineup of national and international experts, an engaged and collaborative group of attendees, and a strong support network of sponsors and exhibitors.

We expect an even larger crowd next year as KAIA grows as the authoritative statewide voice for Kentucky’s auto industry.

— Kerri Richardson,

C2 Vice President

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