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Thanks to Scottsdale Leadership, I had the privilege to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of Barrett-Jackson before it opened to the public. The tour was led by none other than Craig Jackson and included some pretty cool photo opportunities, including a stop to see the “Bat Mobile.” This is the first time I have ever stepped foot at a Barrett-Jackson event as I am not a “car” person. But to have an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes look, was just something I could not pass up.

During the tour a few times it was mentioned that the event was much more than just a car show.  But is it? Would someone who has no interest in cars want to attend?

I asked the ladies in the office if they have attended before and if they had why and if they had not why and these were the responses:


Alison- I attended the Barrett-Jackson Drive the Dream Gala over the weekend. Full disclosure – Boys II Men was the entertainment and they are my favorite boy band of all time. So, I did get a behind the scenes preview of the cars, but really didn’t look at them. I was focused on the Boys and their songs.

Stephanie- Yes, a few times because I had free tickets. And the cars are shiny.

Abbie- No, I am not really a car fan and have no real interest in the event.

Katie- I have never been to Barrett-Jackson, because I have never had the opportunity to go, although I have watched it on TV the past couple years.


According to the event schedule on their website: there is a Family day, Dine and Drives at various Valley restaurants, a day when Guy Fieri will be signing autographs and every day visitors can enjoy food, booths, and activities.  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the event is the non-profit giving component. Various cars are auctioned off for non-profits around the nation.  Some of the local non-profits that will benefit include Arizona Special Olympics, Cox Charities, TGen Foundation.

But if you or a family member were not interested in cars would you attend Barrett-Jackson?  The signs as I see them point to no. There may be “other” events surrounding Barrett-Jackson but nothing I found online went into great detail on what they were or why a person would want to attend. Everything I found was in relation to cars and/or the car auction. Even though I had a tour, and I am grateful for that opportunity, I will not be attending the event.

If Barrett-Jackson is indeed more, and wants to be more, than just a car auction then this is a message that should be communicated. Everything I researched online (yes I love Google) only pointed to cars and the auction. If you visit the press releases section of the Barrett-Jackson website, all of them (well to be honest I only back looked at a few pages) were related to the cars and the auction. In my opinion, Barrett-Jackson could be more than just a car auction, but they need to communicate that properly.

In your opinion, is Barrett-Jackson more than just a car auction and would you attend Barrett-Jackson if you were not into cars? Why or why not?

Rachel Brockway
Rachel Brockway
A former HMA Public Relations employee.


  1. Joy says:

    As a mild car enthusiast I’ve always had an interest in going to Barrett-Jackson but was never convinced it would be worth it. Until reading this, I had no idea there was an effort to bring in different components that may interest other family members or perhaps those not interested in what Barrett-Jackson represents. I think the main attraction is the cars so although the aforementioned efforts may not be well “advertised”, unless they’re thinking of switching gears (heh heh) on who they’re catering to, maybe they SHOULDN’T be putting in the extra effort to promote those events. Even after this new info, however, I don’t see myself packing up the kiddo any time soon.

    The charity component is my favorite though. Perhaps the beneficiaries have more of an interest in having more families or other members who wouldn’t normally attend show up for those “extras”.

  2. Joy says:

    Being a mild car enthusiast, I always had an interest in going to Barrett-Jackson, but never made it out. I had no idea until reading this that they plan additional activities to entice the entire family to come down or perhaps someone who has no real interest in cars but is looking for something to do. Does anybody know how long this has been going on? Regardless, I’m not sure that these would encourage me to attend even more-so. I think what Barrett-Jackson represents has such a strong following that these “extras” should be just that. I think to take away from time promoting the main reason people attend each year in the HOPES of reaching out to a new audience would be a mistake. This event is the mecca for car enthusiasts and I would hate to see that watered down if the focus started deviating after a few years.

    I’m a bigger fan of the charity aspect. Perhaps it would be interesting to see those guys promote more of the non-car related activities. Or maybe they do already?

  3. The new partnership between Barrett-Jackson and Hot August Nights will offer fans and customers of both the classic car event and collector car auctions a weeklong opportunity to celebrate and revel in some of the most recognizable and historic automobiles in the world. Not only will buyers be able to bid on and purchase from Barrett-Jackson’s famous selection of collector cars, but now they can take them right from the auction block to the streets of Reno Tahoe to participate in one of Hot August Nights’ famous cruises or show-n-shines.

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