Perhaps alarm bells should have started ringing when I reported that Gulfstream Aerospace was not going to exhibit or have any substantial presence at this year’s NBAA-BACE. In fact, this year’s static display was a shadow of former years, and the published opinions of seasoned observers only serve to amplify those warnings. There may no longer be unanimous sector support for such large events, writes Brian T Richards.
Staging large scale bizav events now is a very different proposition to just a decade ago. Promoting an industry that is an easy target for criticism in a world of climate protests and an increasingly negative press is a considerable challenge. The way OEMs sell aircraft is also changing as Gulfstream’s use of smaller customer-focused events demonstrates. One comment on the side-lines of NBAA-BACE was illuminating: “The biggest winner from the NBAA show is the NBAA. The show has become just a big networking and job fair.” There is certainly an argument that these events can serve the organiser’s agenda more than the exhibitors and customers. Whether the appetite for events in the same format or on the same scale will continue is now open to question and the continuing support of OEMs will be a key indicator for the future.