The Swartz Report: The National Business Aviation Association conference was fascinating.
Last month, I discussed the CinemaCon convention I attended in August and thought it would be interesting to compare this conference to the NBAA – BACE at the Las Vegas Convention Center I attended last week.
The differences were striking.
The NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) is the leading organization for companies relying on aircraft to make their businesses more profitable. I was invited as a guest of SkyMark Refuelers (a big thank you to Mike Ellis for allowing me the opportunity to attend.) I knew this would be an excellent opportunity to meet business owners as well as suppliers, fixed based operators and others to discuss the aspect of business personal property taxes levied against various types of equipment. These types of equipment include refueling trucks, maintenance equipment, private jets and the leasehold improvements situated on airport property.
The event was fascinating.
Exhibitors from all across the globe gathered to show their wares in extremely elegant and sophisticated tradeshow booths. While smaller than past years, this was the largest convention gathering post pandemic Las Vegas has hosted with over 18,000 registered attendees. This is roughly 4-5X the number of attendees at CinemaCon and held in the recently completed West side of the Las Vegas Convention Center (as well as aircrafts located at the Henderson Airport).
The feel of the event was completely different. You had to be fully vaccinated to attend and pick up your credentials for entering. This was streamlined by installing the Clear App on your mobile device; downloading a picture of the front and back of proof of full vaccination card; downloading a picture ID of yourself and showing the application at the Registration Area to collect your credentials. After receiving credentials, masks were not required within the Conference Center. It was as close to “normal” as I’ve felt as part of an indoor setting with so many people. Kudos to the event planners for making this happen so efficiently.
While many conventions highlight the social aspects of getting away, make no mistake, these attendees were here to meet up with clients, learn about the latest technologies and most importantly – conduct business!
The tradeshow booths.
Many tradeshow booths were set up for staging areas for the “chit-chat”, while stairs led to 2nd story conference rooms (within the respective vendor’s booth) for privacy and real work. Additionally, there was a section of floor space dedicated to first time presenters. I spent time meeting with the “first timers” to determine what was the deciding factor to exhibit. Several indicated to me they would recoup their investment as much as 20-30 fold within the next year. I believe anyone would consider that a successful return on investment!
As a summary to these two recently attended conventions, I’m continually reminded of the importance of marketing – Marketing of your company; your brand; yourself! You can never underestimate the power of marketing. It’s completely exhausting, exhilarating and essential for brand awareness, as well as keeping your name out there. I was surprised by the number of different types of companies attending the conference – now it is up to me to see what happens next.
Happy Trick or Treating!
As always, please respond with any thoughts or comments as they are always read and appreciated.
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