There is so much to enjoy at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The cars, the technology and, of course, those good looking models who peak your interest almost as much as some of the mechanical marvels on display.
No auto show anywhere in the world is really complete without them in attendance. Behind the perfectly coiffed hair and great clothes is a Metro Detroit-based company that makes sure the “product specialists” as they are called, are more than just pretty faces.
Margery Krevsky, owner and CEO of Productions Plus, was one of the first to insist the models not only look good, but be able to competently explain features, facts and answer questions about the cars on display.
The Bingham Farms company has been around for 32 years and has seen its share of shows here in Detroit and across the country. “Our product specialists cover between 60 and 80 days a year at auto shows across the country,” said Derek Dunn, senior account manager with Productions Plus.
More than 24 million people grace the doors of auto shows around the world annually. If there is a skirt, a suit (there are male product specialists, too) and a face standing next to a car at one of these events, there’s a good chance that person is contracted or connected to Productions Plus, a major player in the auto talent industry.
Of course, Detroit is the granddaddy of them all when it comes to these new product reveals, and the expectations are high for the product specialists chosen to work with particular brands. These brand ambassadors have to know their stuff and be ready to answer just about any question. “They don’t have to be engineers, but they do have to know the ins and outs of the brands they represent,” says Dunn.
The three elements of a successful product specialist, according to Dunn are brains, people skills and looks. Without all three, they can’t make it. Preparation begins for many in the fall and continues throughout auto show season. If there is a product update or change mid-year in a vehicle, the product specialists have to know all about it.
April, a 16-year veteran of auto shows from Highland, Michigan, says she loves what she does. “I really enjoy travelling, meeting new people and being able to answer questions for people as they decide what car they are going to buy.”
Productions Plus coordinates specialists for multiple auto brands including, General Motors, Infiniti, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Porsche, Scion, Lexus and Mazda.
While the work for the shows keeps the Production Plus folks busy, they also work at other events where a brand may have a presence like NASCAR, state fairs and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
There are 300 product specialists here working the auto show, as well as about 100 additional people hired locally to work during media and public days. “The product specialists and the people we hire locally are all quizzed and tested on the brands they represent,” says Dunn.
April, who has a background in theater, says the keys to her longevity are to, “Always smile, study hard and not get stressed out.”
More pictures of product specialists from the 2013 Detroit auto show:
Product specialist for Cadillac at NAIAS
Male product specialists discuss details of a GMC truck.
April (Highland, MI) and Chernise (Chicago) pose next to a Toyota at the Detroit auto show
Andrea and Anton (Detroit) work in the Chevrolet display at NAIAS
Product Specialist Tiffany answers questions at the Detroit auto show
Tifarah from metro Detroit has been a product specialist for seven years.
April and Chernise connect with Derek Dunn of Productions Plus at the North American International Auto Show
A group of locally-hired brand ambassadors pose at NAIAS