The 2011 Detroit Auto Show is just around the corner, and this time around, event organizers have made it even easier for attendees to keep up on the action. Gone are the days of schlepping around guides and maps; for owners of smartphones and tablets, Detroit has launched a mobile site that provides much of the same information without requiring a tote bag.
A quick look at the show's new site reveals a full menu of useful data, including event dates and times, travel info, and special areas for media, exhibitors, and sponsors. There's also a very handy map of the show floor, which would be even more useful if it included geolocational and social media elements -- we're thinking something like Waze, but instead of reporting traffic accidents, your friends could post about the latest Chevy Volt floor show. But then, that's probably what Twitter and FourSquare are for.
It's important to note that this isn't an app -- you don't need to visit iTunes or an online marketplace to find it. It's simply a mobile version of the NAIAS site, located at m.naias.com. Once you navigate to that address on your mobile device, you can save it to your home screen so that it blends in with the other apps, but you won't need to download updates to stay current. That also means that it's cross-platform, so it'll work equally well on Android, Apple, Blackberry, and Windows devices. Sweet.
This is a pretty nifty development for NAIAS -- an organization not exactly known for its forward-thinking ways. Now if we could just convince organizers to rename the event the "Detroit Auto Show" (since everyone calls it that anyway), we'd be in business.
Added bonus: for those of you who can't wait for January, here's a video recap of highlights from the 2010 show.