Andrew Frankel: The highlights start with the drive out. I always drive alone, if I possibly can. Then there are the one-to-one interviews: chief executives are always less guarded, less on-message at Geneva. The wall-to-wall exotica, gloriously oblivious to the real world in which people actually live. Gasping in shock, awe and, largely, horror at the latest monstrosities on the Mansory stand. The curry with a few mates in a quiet backstreet on press night. And not being able to sleep in anticipation of the dawn run back over the mountains towards home.
Rachel Burgess: Geneva: Fancy new metal packed from pillar to post, every executive I could ever want to interview and an electrifying buzz in the air. This is where Mercedes-AMG surprised us with its Project One hypercar (we’re still waiting…) and the adrenaline kicked in as we scrambled to give it the best coverage; where Jaguar pipped its rivals to the post with the I-Pace; and where I heard the late FCA boss Sergio Marchionne at his witty best. There’s no better physical manifestation of the car industry’s excitement and pace than Geneva. I love it.
James Attwood: Quite often, Geneva for me means not going to Geneva. While much of the team is swanning around the Palexpo, some of us have to stay behind to run the magazine and website. And, frankly, the Autocar office team co-ordinating our unrivalled web coverage have a better overview of the show than anyone: every launch, quote, picture, story and rumour passes through us on the way from a journalist’s phone to you. Frequently, staffers at the show ask us what’s going on. There’s less battling through scrums of other hacks, too – and it’s easier to find a coffee.
Steve Cropley: For me, the Geneva show is most of all about the time of year. The car industry is feeling good, because there’s a whole selling year ahead, we’ve cleared the detritus of winter, the driving and the motorsport seasons are both ahead and all is right with the world. Most of us are feeling optimistic. Better still, there hasn’t been a European motor show for months and here we are, in the Continent’s neutral capital, where Dacia and Rolls-Royce, Tata and Tesla are all treated equally. The prospect of a new car year is downright intoxicating.
Mark Tisshaw: Geneva is simply the highlight of the year for those who love the news side of the car industry as much as driving the cars themselves. Nowhere else offers that many senior executives in one place, willing to talk (on or off the record) to inform stories and set news agendas for the next 12 months. Video conferences or online interviews and events can never show the nods, winks and body language that can be just as informative to a story, nor those little chats on the side. We miss it terribly and eagerly look forward to its return.