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Another Successful Year for Exhibitors at EAA AirVenture
July 24, 2015 - The feedback is in and exhibitors say it has been another successful year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
More than 800 companies based around the world that develop and sell aircraft and related products attended AirVenture 2015, and for many, they say it has been their best year yet.
Matt Heintz, who manages the Canadian facility, Zenair, for Zenith Aircraft Company said he has seen a good mix so far of new and returning customers.
“Traffic at our booth honestly every year is fantastic and this year is no exception,” he said. “Half the people at our booth are existing customers just hanging out and looking for engine choices and the other half is potential new customers.”
While his booth is separate from EAA’s Give Flight project, he said he is particularly excited that Zenith has been able to contribute to the project.
“In the builder workshop area, we are building three wings this week,” Matt said of the wing kits Zenith donated to the program. “Two for the (STOL) 750 and one for the Zodiac 650, so that’s also really unique. We do a lot of hands-on and we like the show because we like to get people involved in the hands-on.”
Ernesto Rodriguez, director of products and services delivery for Lycoming engines said his tent has also seen a steady amount of traffic, with sales on a positive trend.
“There’s no other Oshkosh than Oshkosh,” Ernesto said, noting the diversity of crowd EAA AirVenture attracts.
“We’ve got not only people from the U.S., but a lot of international visitors, and you get anything from aviation enthusiasts who just want to look at the engines to the guy who has two or three aircraft or operates a fleet and is looking for business,” he said.
Ernesto said at the Lycoming tent he fields many questions from existing customers as to updates and services available for the engines they already own.
Another exhibitor, Garmin, has a wide range of new products on display for visitors to explore and discuss with representatives.
Jim Alpiser, director of aviation after-market sales, said their new products include a pilot application that works as an automatic logbook, a GPS20A that functions as a GPS for experimental builders to use as an ADS-B position source, and new audio panels.
Traffic for Garmin has increased this year, according to Jim, and he said it may be due to the company’s new central location on the grounds right off of the Boeing Plaza.
“This is our first year in a different location, so we feel the location change has been very significant and helpful,” Jim said. “We’ve got a much bigger footprint now than we used to have.”
Steve Trosin of Ford’s merchandise store said traffic and sales have been steady, but that sales are not necessarily the goal for Ford at AirVenture.
“It’s all about building the brand for Ford,” he said. “It’s not necessarily about building big numbers in sales.”
While many working exhibitor’s tents said they have not had much opportunity to get out, the consensus was that visiting AirVenture is always a good time.
“We cover a wide range of customers, which is a great thing in a single venue,” said Lycoming’s Ernesto. “And then it’s all charged with the aviation spirit."