Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was the 2010 NBAA Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlanta, which runs from October 19 to 21 this year.
From an outsider’s perspective, the convention is a show and tell of the industry’s futuristic designs and lavish lifestyles. Some exhibits could draw comparison to a space-age Ritz Carlton lounge bar.
For the people present at the Georgia World Congress Center as early as Sunday, October 17, and Monday, the show floor was more reminiscent of a construction zone gone wild.
Workers, freight boxes, sawdust and the sound of high-speed drills dominated the exhibit hall during the early stages of setup on Sunday. To walk the show floor you had to avoid honking motorized carts, tiptoe over plastic-covered carpets and take in the smell of fresh paint.
As I walked through the show floor, I thought to myself, “How will this ever get finished?”
That question was answered by the apparent dedication of the workers and exhibitors.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s exhibit was cleaned up from a previous convention on Wednesday, October 13, and promptly delivered to Atlanta the next day. A work team was hired to set up the large exhibit before other workers towed in a S76C++ helicopter in to showcase, a task only made possible by removing the rotors and reattaching them inside.
The two-story GE Aviation exhibit took hustling laborers three days to construct under the stress of the intricate exhibit’s late arrival.
The stories of pre-convention setup obstacles are abundant. For those attending the convention, in the midst of exotic exhibits and bright carpet designs, remember the hard-working people who make great events like this happen.