Car rallies, cruises, and local car club shows are a great way to see what your neighbors are driving, restoring, or “pimping” in your community. If you want to get ahead of the game and see what people will be driving next year or in the next decade, you want to check out one of the many new car shows or auto shows held across the country. If you have a good travel budget, you can even fly to international events to see what’s coming on the world stage.

The big auto shows target those who work in the auto industry as well as media and the general public. They tend to showcase the current line of top vehicles from various manufactures as well as debuting next year’s models. Shows may also offer the opportunity for attendees to view concept cars that are being developed for the future or look over mint condition classic cars that are no longer in production. These shows also provide space for manufacturers of car accessories and auto related products. You can see everything from the latest in tires and wheels (like the packages available here) to the ubiquitous bottles of car wax.

Car manufacturers see these shows as a vital part of their marketing and public relations strategies. It gives them a chance to get their cars and accessories in front of the media and the public in the best possible light. In this digital age, it’s no longer enough to have a review in Motor Trend ; they want photos and videos to be shared on blogs and social media sites to create buzz with consumers. A viral image of a concept car captured by a car enthusiast can go a long way toward building brand identity and loyalty.

Some of the top auto shows in the US include Silicon Valley (January), North American International Auto Show , aka Detroit Auto Show (January), Chicago (February), New York (April), SEMA (Las Vegas: November), and Los Angeles (November). There are also international shows in Paris (Sept-Oct), Frankfurt (September), Tokyo Motor Show (Nov-Dec), and Geneva (March). And these are just the most popular. There are new car shows in practically every state, so you should have no trouble finding one close to you.

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