NBAA 2008 is officially over – and what a show it was.
Whether we’re exploring the tradeshow booths or loading up on collateral and light-up-bouncy-ball swag, we’re informed and inspired by what we see every single year – and 2008 was no different. That’s not to say everything at the show was brilliant, but even less-than-great creative serve as nice reminders for what we should stay far, far away from. And, let’s be honest, help reaffirm the directions we’re moving with our clients.
The current economic downturn was certainly on everyone’s mind, but the show still had great energy with more than 30,000 people in attendance. And, despite the concerns about how the credit crunch will affect the booming business aviation industry, strong order backlogs and a robust global market ensure a record number of deliveries for this year and possibly next.
Some of the highlights from this year’s show include:
- FlightSafety International’s booth traffic. A flurry of activity surrounded the FlightSafety booth this year. And they didn’t even have official booth babes. One draw was the new GG-designed seven-panel history wall outlining FlightSafety’s impressive story. (Learning Centers worldwide are currently receiving and installing the display.) The booth also touted supergraphics communicating the FlightSafety Advantage. We witnessed a number of folks reviewing the checklist, no doubt thinking, yes, FightSafety delivers big time.
- The birth of the Wichita Aero Club. This newly formed club will further Wichita’s “Air Capital of the World” status and will provide a much-needed vehicle for addressing issues of concern to Wichita’s aircraft manufacturers: Boeing, Bombardier, Cessna, Hawker Beechraft and Spirit AeroSystems. We were happy to see seasoned industry veteran and dear friend Dave Franson named as the club’s first director. You can bet this is a group we’ll be joining.
- The new all-encompassing BBA booth. This was the first year that parent company BBA Aviation brought its constituent companies under one roof – or, more accurately, into one booth. We welcomed the opportunity to assist with booth graphics that communicate the strength and pedigree of such BBA powerhouses as Signature FlightSupport, Dallas Airmotive and our new client, APPH.
- The Hawker 4000 flight. Sonia and Deanna made it to the show in record GG time, flying in extended-stay hotel pioneer Jack DeBoer’s long-awaited-but-well-worth-it Hawker 4000. Time from take-off to touchdown? 2 hours, 18 minutes. The only thing better was the chance to get caught up with Jack – and to hear his take on the economy.
- The unveiling of the Bombardier Learjet 85 mock-up. This all-composite jet is more than another pretty face. Just as Learjet created the business-jet category and the very term “jetset,” the Learjet 85 is positioned to shake up the midsized jet market. Not only will it be the first all-composite-structure business aircraft to receive FAA FAR Part 25 type certification, its largest-in-class standup cabin and Mach 0.82 high-speed cruise make this beauty a real winner.
Be sure to check out some of our photos from NBAA 2008 – including Sonia fraternizing with her favorite cartoon mouse.
If you attended this year, what were some of your favorite moments? Booths? Swag?