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March 3, 2017
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Americas: LA Auto Show V2: A Legendary Car Show Upgrades into a Tech Conference


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Terri Toennies, executive VP and general manager of the Los Angeles Auto Show
Terri Toennies, executive VP and general manager of the Los Angeles Auto Show

For most people about to start a new job heading up a prestigious show attended by around a million people each year, the predominant emotion might be excitement tinged with anxiety. But after an extensive career managing up to 700 events a year all over the country, Terri Toennies says that, when contemplating taking over the LA Auto Show, she was more concerned she might be bored. She need not have worried.

LA Auto Show President and Chairman Lisa Kaz felt that the show was not evolving with the automotive industry and hired Toennies to revamp the event to reflect the new direction. The show, which began in 1907, traditionally put cars on display to sell to consumers and showcase new models for the press. But it was missing the disruption in the auto industry, where tech companies are now working on cars and the next generation of car owners is less interested in the actual vehicle than its safety, entertainment, and Internet technologies.

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