VIP Night at the Canadian International Auto Show
The night before the official opening, the Canadian International Auto Show (CIAS) opens its doors for its annual VIP Night Gala. VIP clients, dealers, industry professionals, and anyone else looking to shell out $200 for a ticket are invited. Being a very formal affair, suit and tie are mandatory for men, and with women dressing to match in equally fancy attire. We even saw the occasional flowing gown (not ideal for sitting in cars). Each ticket includes free underground parking & 4 free alcoholic drink tickets, (to compliment the free parking of course …just kidding don't drink and drive). There is an abundance of popup bars, and food stations located between booths. For food, there is everything from desserts, to sliders, and freshly sliced pork tenderloin. If you are there looking for drinks, avoid the bars near the luxury brand booths as being a VIP night people tend to migrate towards the luxury brands. Try going towards Toyota or Subaru as the booths are considerably less busy.
The whole night is meant to create a much more intimate environment, and it certainly delivers. Without the 100’s of pushing people each trying to get their best Insta shot of their dream car, you can actually walk and take the time to enjoy each car. People are relaxed, talkative and most have a genuine interest in cars so discussion comes easy (plus the 4 drink tickets means you’ll be making friends in no time.) Plus you get to rub shoulders with some of the big names in the automotive, and business world. (See if you can spot one in the picture down below)
The only time you had to wait was in only in the Mercedes booth, and that was by far the busiest. Sadly Porsche, like during the public days, had all of their cars locked, which was very disappointing, but if you don't mind talking to some sales people, you can easily talk you way into most of the cars there. Especially considering they had their new generation Panamera on display with its stunning new interior
All the cars in auto exotica were still behind the barrier, though tonight would probably be the best night if to talk to the people there to have a seat in one. The event also included live entertainment, with Marianas Trench performing. Unfortunately (or fortunately) we didn't stick around to watch, but we can only assume, given the average age of attendees, that it would have been an interesting show. We do wish we had been able to stick around, solely to test the soundproofing of the luxury cars on display.
Overall VIP night was an amazing experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone who can get their hands on a set of tickets! It is a whole new way of seeing an auto show, without the craziness of having to fight through big crowds, and fight off 10 children to sit in the Nissan GT-R. The fact that all the car stereo and shifter nobs are all still in place also isn’t so bad either.