Not long ago you had to worry about what was going on in your town and perhaps your country. But now you have to worry about the globe.
Last week, as the New York International Auto Show held media days in preparation for its traditional opening on Good Friday, another city 7,400 miles away was holding a competitive event that took some people and cars away from the Big Apple.
As the long-established New York auto show was being launched for the umpteenth time, China was opening its own show in Shanghai.
It's a small world and getting smaller.
It is unusual for two important international shows to be held at the same time.
The folks most affected probably were journalists who follow the auto show circuit, the way other reporters follow Formula One races from country to country. They may be based in Europe and had to decide which event to cover. It would be like having the Indianapolis 500 at the same time as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Different races but oftentimes the same reporters.
The New York show seemed just as big with as many local journalists and executives as ever.
Many European executives were in China, a market that seems to double every couple of years. It's huge and showing no sign of slowing anytime soon.
But New York is still New York and as always put on a good show for folks interested in cars.
I have always marveled that a community so hostile to the automobile could have such a huge, successful show. Obviously it draws people to the city from the surrounding tri-state area.
The industry showed off its newest entries for tomorrow and further down the road. The competition has never been tougher. Car companies seem to be scrapping over every sale. And to be successful today, they are bringing out new models at a rapid pace.
BMW was a good example of a company with a diverse range of powerplants, offering everything from a pure electric to hybrids, gasoline or diesel. About the only thing missing was steam power, but that may have to wait for the Frankfurt show.
The mood was cautiously optimistic, which is how auto executives are most of the time. But with the New York show's opening, spring is at hand.