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Few things can be more exciting than showing up to an aircraft tradeshow or fly-in with your freshly polished plane. Aircraft tradeshows and fly-ins can be great opportunities for connecting with other enthusiasts and fans, for attracting leads and new clients and for following up on the latest trends in the aviation industry – not to mention the wonderful satisfaction of being able to show off your craft.
While the amount and type of preparation that should go into a tradeshow or fly-in is truly a matter of personal preference, there are a few tip and hints that others have recommended over the years for making each trip worthwhile. Especially for participants, knowing the best aircraft polish to use for trade shows, fly-ins and other events can go a long way.
Trade Show and Fly-in Schedules
First, it helps to know where to look to find the events most appealing to you or best suited for participation with your aircraft. A number of sites offer great schedules and calendars listing aircraft trade shows, fly-in and conventions at the regional, national and global levels.
For best results, here are few prominent sites to try for excellent schedules and calendars:
Federal Aviation Admininistration: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/tradeshows/
Milavia (U.S. &Canada, Europe, World): http://www.milavia.net/airshows/calendar/showdates-2015.html
Trade-a-plane (U.S.Conferences Fly-ins and Air Shows)
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (U.S. Fly-ins)
Deciding Which Trade Shows and Fly-ins to Attend
Once you’ve targeted the dates and times that might work with your schedule, you’ll want to narrow down the best events – and there are a plethora to choose from. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more popular world, national and regional events.
The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) offers the seventh largest U.S. aviation trade show every year at various locations. The NBAA Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition attracts over 25,000 business aircraft aviation owners manufacturers and enthusiasts from all over the globe. Similar events are held in Europe, Asia and Latin America. this trade show features 100+ business aircraft on static display.
One of the largest agriculture aircraft conventions takes place every year through the National Agricultural Aviation Association (NAAA). The association’s Annual Event brings together those who fly and work with aircraft used for applying aerial materials to U.S. agricultural crops.
The Aircraft Owners and Pilot’s Association (AOPA) hosts a number of regional aircraft fly-ins across the nation every year. This year, AOPA Fly-ins take place in California, Colorado, Tennessee, Maryland and Minnesota.
Best Aircraft Event Polish
When it comes to choosing an aircraft polish for an upcoming event, you may want to think carefully. The type of results from your polishing job should fit the purpose or “theme” of the event. For instance, a fly-in may call for a mirror-like finish showcasing the gleam and shine of your aircraft visibly at any distance. A more conventional event may require a simpler, dewey appearance that still features the most important aspects of your craft.
Such considerations call for a closer look at the type of polish that should be selected for shows. You’ll want to choose a polish that cleans well and that removes any cloudiness or watermarks. Events and shows are special appearances that call for the best cleaning and polishing job possible.
Preparing Your Aircraft for a Show or Fly-In
There may not be a step-by step guide to preparing your aircraft for a trade show or fly-in, but there are a few key tips and hints for ensuring that your experience is worthwhile. Most events don’t involve competition, but they do involve a bit of ‘wowing’ the crowd. Your goal should be to gear your efforts towards this central task.
We’ve discussed wisely selecting the best aircraft polish for shows and events. That’s key. Beyond that, you’ll want to ensure that all your registration materials are in order well ahead of any deadlines. Most tradeshow fees range from the low hundreds of dollars to $20,000 or more for specialized booth space, and late registration could incur even more costs. Also, carefully consider transport issues. Many conventions and trade shows require aircraft to be transported to convention locations with wings and rotors dismantled.
If you’re headed to a fly-in, you’ll want to stay abreast of the days’ scheduling, noting the times of your performance. Go over any specifics about your performance with show officials to make sure you’re on the same page, and let officials know about any special nuances of dealing with your aircraft that may be relevant to the performance. For instance, your engines may have a tendency to emit higher amounts of smoke on cloudy days. Officials will need to know ahead of time to ensure that the show and your performance runs smoothly.
For conventions and tradeshows, knowing your location ahead of time is also important. Find out exactly where show officials want your set up and govern yourself accordingly. Also, be sure to bring any promotional or networking items essential to getting the word out about your craft or business such as business cards flyers or pamphlet. You never know who you’ll connect with at events and meeting fellow aircraft and avionics fans can be fun as well as essential for future success.