It's easy to get up-to-the-minute coverage of a motor show now, but we can tell you from experience that there's no substitute for being there. We'd urge you to get yourself to Geneva 2011. Here's why:
1. It's the greatest motor show in memory
It's quite easy to concoct a list of 'new' models due to appear at a motor show, but often the list is bulked up: minor updates, special editions and 'European debuts' are like the water in your slice of wafer thin ham. Geneva, on the other hand, is pure pork: the list of new car unveils isn't just long - it's of the highest quality and significance.
2. It's the future
Of the list of new models in Geneva, a large proportion of them give you a glimpse of what the future on the roads will look like. Even the most outrageous, like the Renault Captur and BMW Vision ConnectedDrive concepts, have ideas buried within them that are only a few years away. Others, like the Alfa Romeo 4C Concept, will be on the road pretty much unchanged within a couple of years. And, of course, there's the production stuff, like the genuinely impressive Kia Rio and Picanto.
3. You'll be amazed
From the aforementioned concept cars to aftermarket specials and brand new supercars, there's something to amaze everyone in Geneva. This year it seems like every manufacturer has at least one car that's worth a look - that's rare. Check out the Lamborghini Aventador, the MINI Rocketman, the Saab PhoeniX and Audi A3 Saloon Concept for a start. Then move on to any number of outrageous one-off conversions of cars like the Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.
4. You'll make a difference
Car companies are desperate to hear what you, the enthusiastic buying public, think of their new cars. Motor shows are a forum to have your opinion heard. We spoke to a SEAT representative about its new IBX, for example, and were told that the Spanish company is genuinely gauging opinion on the crossover to see if customers think there's a market for it. Think something you've seen is horrendous - tell them!
5. It's cheap
The public days run until March 13 and tickets cost from CHF 16 (around £10). Flights to Geneva are frequent and only take 90 minutes or so from Heathrow, and the motor show venue - the Geneva Palexpo - is attached to the airport. That means it's possible to do Geneva in a day, cutting the need to pay for hotels.