With one more day to run, ABACE organizers and exhibitors agree that the reborn show has been a great success that has put Asian business aviation firmly on the international air show calendar. This year’s event fulfilled all of its objectives, according to NBAA president Ed Bolen, who pointed to its ability to bring buyers and sellers together. “We had 157 exhibitors,” he told AIN. “I’ve spoken to quite a few of them and I think its fair to say they are quite pleased with the quality of the people they are talking to.”
Other areas of note were the conference’s eight well-attended educational seminars and the 15 formal press conferences held during the event by exhibitors, an indication that the show was accepted as a venue to make major announcements in the region. “One of the things that we feel is worth noting is that nearly 25 percent of the exhibitors are from Asia, mostly from China itself, which suggests to us that this is really an Asian business aviation conference which is international in scope,” said Bolen.
Next year’s ABACE is scheduled to run April 16 to 18, but as it reviews this year’s event one matter NBAA must consider for future shows is the venue. The initial exhibition hall quickly sold out, forcing the show’s organizers to establish an exhibition pavilion adjacent to the Hawker Pacific hangar. That space quickly sold out as well, forcing NBAA to turn away additional exhibitors.
“We will work with the Shanghai Airport Authority and Hawker Pacific to see what additional space could be maximized next year,” Bolen said. “Long term, we recognize that the current footprint is not going to be sufficient, so we are in conversations with the airport authority about a potential convention center on the airport that would give us the opportunity to replicate the Geneva [Europe’s EBACE show] experience that has proven so incredibly popular with our industry.”