Attending business aviation tradeshows, conferences, and expos is an excellent way to get a feel for new markets and connect with industry experts around the globe.
In fact, attending and exhibiting at select tradeshows and conferences is an essential part of a strategic growth plan for any GA business.
However, tradeshows can be overwhelming and expensive. And for GA companies traveling internationally, the investment is substantial.
Nonetheless, nothing beats “being there.”
Business aviation tradeshows offer an unprecedented opportunity to meet company representatives from all over the world. Many conferences draw tens of thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors.
Therefore, whether you’re exhibiting or walking the show, it’s crucial to carefully plan every detail well in advance. To maximize your investment, you’ll need to understand the focus and flavor of the event, order sufficient marketing materials, sharpen your unique selling proposition and examine the list of exhibitors – to name just a few.
Did you know … according to Forbes magazine, the #1 commandment when attending a business aviation tradeshow is to generate enough leads to pay for the event … before you go.
Generating leads and networking is often the primary goal for attending or exhibiting at conferences and tradeshows.
But how do you generate leads before the event?
By setting appointments in advance.
Doing so sets you apart as a serious professional. It also establishes a commitment in the mind of your prospect and creates enthusiasm for the forthcoming event. Whether you exhibit or walk the show, prepared meetings are essential to your success. Most tradeshows provide an exhibitors list on their website well in advance of the event so you can identify potential clients and set up meetings – or map out a plan to visit them when there.
Each year there are dozens of GA tradeshow events all over the world. Many exhibitors, influencers, suppliers, and decision-makers attend prepared to do business. Most business aviation tradeshows also include a variety of lectures and training sessions where attendees have an opportunity to network with industry leaders and enhance their professional knowledge.
Several of the world’s top business aviation tradeshows include:
Ranked as the sixth largest business aviation tradeshow in the United States, with an average of 27,000 industry professionals attending from all over the world. The 2016 NBAA-BACE will be held Nov. 1–3, in Orlando, FL.
Asia’s premier business aviation tradeshow launched in 2012 to showcase business aviation products and services to aviation leaders and decision makers from China and across Asia. 2015 was a record-setting year with 185 exhibitors from 19 countries, 40 static aircraft displays, and over 8,000 attendees. ABACE2016 will be held at Shanghai Hongqiao Airport April 12-14.
EBACE is Europe’s premier business aviation event and annual meeting bringing together business leaders, government officials, manufacturers, and GA industry professionals from all over the world. The 2016 conference will be held May 24-26 in Geneva, Switzerland.
From its humble beginnings more than 60 years ago, EAA AirVenture has evolved from a small gathering of aircraft and aviators into a grand, weeklong celebration known as The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration! More than 10,000 aircraft and half a million people made the 2015 EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh one for the history books. With static displays, air show, and educational seminars, there is something for every aviation enthusiast. Oshkosh 2016 takes place July 24-31.
MRO America is the flagship MRO event series that draws attendees from all sectors of the business aviation community. The event provides leadership and networking opportunities for business aviation professionals. The 2015 event was the largest to date with 15,000 registered attendees from all 50 states and 87 countries! The 2016 tradeshow takes place in Dallas, TX, April 5-7.
Business aviation tradeshows and conferences are also an ideal time to hold press conferences to showcase products and new company strategies. Individuals of the media attend all industry tradeshows. By contacting them in advance, you can arrange for a private meeting to keep them informed of what’s going on in your company. When you treat them with importance they, in turn, will be more apt to remember you and write a favorable piece later on.
Attending business aviation tradeshows, conferences and expos is a very efficient way to discover potential opportunities in other countries. When it comes to growing your GA business, there’s no substitute, as relationships formed at these events often lead to lifelong business partnerships.
At Blue Sky Innovations, we attend tradeshows all over the world on behalf of our clients. These events allow us to meet industry professionals face-to-face, create new relationships and drive new income opportunities. When you work with BSI, we will create a strategic plan and arrange meetings with key industry leaders ahead of the show. We will then follow up on your behalf after the event.
Tim Archer knows a thing or two about getting the most out of business aviation tradeshows. For 40 years, he’s attended well over 100 events around the globe as both an exhibitor and attendee. 2016 will mark Tim’s 36th consecutive visit to Sun n’ fun and 40th consecutive trip to Oshkosh.
To learn how Tim’s tradeshow best practices can take your GA business to the next level, contact BSI today.