Top 5 lessons learned from NBAA-BACE ’21
Quality Over Quantity.
To help other “first timers” navigate their trade show plans for 2021-2022, we wanted to share the top 5 insights we came away with from the event. Please note that the phrase “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” does not apply to this blog!
1. Lower attendance doesn’t equate to low value. Quality over quantity wins every time.
As it turned out, NBAA-BACE 2021 had lower than normal attendance. Surprisingly, that was a good thing for many of the attendees. Yes, the crowds were smaller, but the upside was that the people who did attend were there for a purpose – to get back to “business” part of business aviation.
And because Bluetail’s services are built around making businesses more efficient, we enjoyed a lot of great meetings and conversations with aircraft owners, manufacturers (OEMs), charter operators, partners, prospects and customers.
2. The hiring struggle is real, so automation and efficiency has never been more important. Everyone we spoke with shared a similar sentiment that finding talent and help was harder now than ever before. In fact, we heard from numerous companies that investing in efficiency software tools was one of the highest priorities…you know, do more, with less. This proves the importance of solutions like Bluetail that allow companies, specifically aircraft owners and operators, to save time and money with less resources.
3. Customer and partner relationships are far more valuable than “leads”.
The lower than usual attendance allowed us to have more intimate/detailed conversations with partners and customers… which was very important to our entire team covering sales, support, operations and product development. We consider our customers to be our number one priority and rely on their guidance to maximize the value that Bluetail will ultimately deliver to the aviation industry. NBAA 2021 provided a great opportunity to further build on the relationships that will further these critical conversations.
4. It’s a great opportunity for smaller companies to get time with much larger companies.
Although we only had a 10×10 booth, it became clear that learning more about Bluetail was a priority for many of the attendees. Bluetail was clearly on their NBAA-BACE 21 ‘hit list,’ and that’s a great feeling! We are confident that the majority of the attendees we visited with walked away from the event very impressed with what they saw with our company and vision.
And it wasn’t just the individual aircraft owners. Representatives from some notable OEMs and other industry leaders – the folks who are historically hard to get time with during prior NBAA conventions – were open and anxious to learn more about Bluetail and what benefits our portfolio of services can bring to their customers and brand.
5. Team bonding was a huge plus for our company, especially coming out of COVID-19.
When it comes to team building, forget Zoom and Facetime as there is no substitute for face-to-face connections – even if it’s with the people you work with every day. Coming together to work on a project like exhibiting at a trade show encompasses an “all hands on deck” attitude. Good teams let their guard down (vulnerability if you are a Brene Brown fan), relax, focus and drive towards the common good of the company. When we weren’t with customers and prospects, we were breaking bread as a team, talking about making the product and company better, not to mention building a stronger level of trust.
There’s never been (and never will be) a shortage of technology investments inside the aircraft, but we were impressed to see the increase in investment that is being made around the aircraft as evident by the multitude and impressive list of vendor exhibitors. The Bluetail team came away with not only a list of prospects and partner proposal commitments but, more importantly, some great insights as to how to make the most out of any trade show or event we participate in, even when the attendance isn’t record-setting.
Oh yeah, you can bet that we’ll be even bigger and better at NBAA-BACE 2022 in Orlando!
If you weren’t at NBAA 2021 and would like to learn more about Bluetail’s growing array of services (beyond sharing insights on trade shows), please visit: www.bluetail.aero.