Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Now Presenting: Exhibit A (and more)

This week Oshkosh is truly the frozen tundra, all but stopping our outdoor work. Below-zero temps will do that. While we’re handling indoor projects, I asked Jeff Kaufman, EAA’s director of business development who is pictured here, to update what’s happening in the main exhibit area for 2009:

Thanks, Steve. The redesign of the AirVenture site not only creates better pedestrian flow through the grounds, it also helps the more than 750 exhibitors who come to Oshkosh each year. It’s a challenging time for every business. We want to give each exhibitor the best possible opportunity to succeed and allow you to more easily do one of AirVenture’s favorite pastimes – checking out what’s new in aviation and shopping for those things you want and need. There's more visibility for exhibitors, increased exhibit space (by 45 percent, in total), better access and other things that visitors and exhibitors have requested.

It’s a big task. While it won’t affect those companies with indoor spaces, it means moves for a significant number of outdoor exhibitors. We’re re-numbering all the outdoor exhibit spaces so they make better sense. Specific quadrants are also being created, so locating the exhibits you’re seeking will be easier.

A big challenge when revamping all this will be helping exhibitors announce where their new locations are. While the better traffic flow is good news, we’re creatures of habit. A lot of us are used to a particular company being in a certain place. How to get the word out that a company has moved? As we finalize the outdoor exhibitor locations, we have a number of web-based ideas that will let you find your favorite vendor well in advance of AirVenture, and while you’re on the grounds. I think you’ll like what you see.

Once you’re at Oshkosh, there will be information towers on the grounds with maps and directions, and several staffed information kiosks, too.

Also, we’re supplying exhibitors with things called “glyphs” that they can use in their pre-AirVenture advertising and promotion, indicating their location. Look for these in your favorite magazines or websites. We’re encouraging exhibitors to use them as much as possible.

Just as when the main exhibit hangars opened in 1995 and 1997, familiar companies will be in different places at Oshkosh this year. We’re doing everything we can to keep the confusion to a minimum, and your ideas are always welcome.

I promised Steve I wouldn’t go on too long here, so thanks for reading. We’ll see you this summer at Oshkosh!

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