Deerfield mom drove women’s day at auto show
M.J. Tam (left) and Deerfield mom, Beth Rosen. created and planned "Women Driving Excellence," a women's day at the Chicago Auto Show. | Courtesy of Beth Rosen
Updated: February 14, 2013 7:53AM
DEERFIELD — “Let’s get women in here!”
That’s what Deerfield mom and social media consultant, Beth Rosen and her business partner, MJ Tam said to executives from the Chicago Auto Show last fall. The two, who host the monthly interactive talk show, Chicagonista LIVE, ended up creating and planning Tuesday’s “Women Driving Excellence,” a day at the show specifically dedicated to women.
“We said, ‘Let’s create a program that really celebrates women,’” said Rosen, who has lived in Deerfield all her life, first as a child, and then with her husband and four children, “The auto show is gaining a real opportunity here when it comes to marketing to women.”
According to Rosen, whose marketing agency expanded into her social media company, 4 Keys Media in 2008, it’s important to market the auto show to women because it is estimated that females make up 85% of all automotive buying decisions.
“The largest percent of people who attend the auto show are men, and a lot of manufacturers are taking notice,” she said, “Women are also the most active on social media and I felt like it was important to tie these all together.”
Jennifer Morand is the Senior Manager of Public Relations and Social Media for the Chicago Auto Show, and said more women than men hold driver’s licenses, which is part of the reason the auto show is committed to appealing to women.
“Each year we will strive to enhance women’s day because we know women make powerful decisions when it comes to auto buying,” said Morand, “Beth and MJ offered a great program.”
Rosen is no stranger to the auto show, or the automotive industry when it comes to marketing to women. In 2009, she helped her client, Allstate create a campaign to reach women using social media, with things like Twitter, facebook and Utube. Through Allstate, she was invited that year to speak at the auto show on its first social media panel.
“Women Driving Excellence” took place on the main stage. It began with a networking event, where 185 women mingled and exchanged business cards.
Photographer and Deerfield mom, Pam Katz was there taking photos.
“My son and husband always go to the auto show and I’ve never had the desire to go until now,” said Katz, “This is such a great way for women to get out there, meet other women and learn about how women are really making a difference.”
“I’ve been to the auto show, and while I think it’s cool, a big chunk of it is more technical, and parts of it don’t fit my interest,” said Mindey Johnson of Deerfield, “I’m more into things that fit my lifestyle, and that’s what women’s day is doing.”
A recognition ceremony followed the networking event, where six influential Chicago women were honored, including Genevieve Thiers, founder of Sittercity.com, Karen Weigert, Chief Sustainability Officer for the city of Chicago, and Anupy Singla, an award-winning journalist and author. According to Rosen, all six women “truly care about our community.”
The day also included live stage performances of Broadway in Chicago’s, I Love Lucy, and performances by Chicago comedian, Caryn Bark, vocalist, Miss Lori, and of course, a live broadcast of Chicagonista LIVE.
“Our goal was to cater in a smart way to the decision makers, and give the auto show a platform to provide relevant, helpful information in an engaging way,” Rosen said.
Rosen ended up getting a big surprise this year, when the Chicago Auto Show, in conjunction with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association awarded her Top Digital Influencer for the 2013 Auto Show.
“We evaluated the tweets that came out of the Social Media Preview and found Beth to be one of the best individual influencers of the day,” Morand said.
“This was such an unexpected honor and I’m thrilled,” said Rosen, “I’m going to continue doing as much as possible to create some good content for the online audience.”
Sponsors of “Women Driving Excellence” included auto manufacturer, Kia, as well as Cars.com, The Chicago Tribune and Monika Dixon PR.
The Chicago Auto Show runs through February 18th.