National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen today said that as the 62nd Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2009) draws to a close, the show has again proven an essential venue for the business aviation community, in spite of the formidable headwinds the industry has endured in the past year.
"Even in the tough climate we´re in, the support for this show proves that it remains an absolutely essential venue for the buyers and sellers in our industry to connect and promote a true and positive image of business aviation," Bolen said.
"Equally important, this was an opportunity to come together all in one place, and underscore the importance of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities across the country, and articulate a vision for our future. As everyone knows, the business aviation community puts a premium on face-to-face meetings and communications, and this year´s show provided the ultimate opportunity to benefit from that type of interaction."
Bolen pointed to several measurements for this year´s show, as compared to last year´s record-setting totals:
* Ninety-one percent, or 1,075 of the Exhibitors from last year´s Convention had returned for the 2009 show.
* This year´s show required 84 percent of the floor space needed for last year´s event.
* Representatives from 86 countries, from six continents, were in attendance at this year´s Convention – an increase from 82 countries represented last year.
* Representatives from all 50 states were in attendance – up from last year, when 49 states were represented.
* The Static Display of Aircraft featured nearly 100 aircraft at Orlando Executive Airport.
* New education sessions for entrepreneurs who rely on light business airplanes had wide acceptance and overflowing attendance.
* Attendance stood at 75 percent of last year´s total, with 22,920 participants at the show’s final day (last year´s attendance total was 30,811).
"While we never expected to achieve last year’s attendance total, we were determined to provide the value that the community has come to expect – and all indications are we succeeded,” Bolen continued.
Bolen pointed to other show successes, such as:
* An inspirational Opening General Session, including business advocates and the introduction of new advocacy advertising featuring American legend Arnold Palmer;
* The $168,000 raised by the industry for the Corporate Angel Network, through the NBAA/CAN Charity Benefit;
* The dedication of this year´s Convention to John Winant, the legendary NBAA president and director, who passed away earlier this year.
"In short, it´s clear that this year´s Convention was the place to be for everyone whose passion and profession involves business aviation," Bolen concluded. "Our thanks to everyone involved for making this year´s event a success."