Q&A with the CEO

Q&A with the CEO

Q: AVIONICS was established for more than 10 years as a great platform for the International Avionics community but what made it suddenly develop into Aerospace Tech WEEK and its component six events?

A: Whilst AVIONICS had become established as a successful niche platform it had almost hit a glass ceiling where it was difficult to compete with bigger more generic aviation events without losing its focus.

Therefore, we had been looking at ways we could build it yet stay true to its niche for a few years. We had already added a colocated AEROSPACE TESTING conference track for three years now, with a growing exhibition.

But it wasn’t until we had the opportunity to bring Simon Barker on board, who had previously helped build a successful connectivity event in the UK, it seemed the logical step forward to collocate a CONNECTED AIRCRAFT in 2019 due to the huge overlap. In fact, AVIONICS had served the connectivity market over 10 years ago before it became such a core part of an aircraft. It was then a simple case of creating an umbrella brand (Aerospace Tech WEEK) to unify these mini events under one identifiable name.

The first colocation of CONNECTED AIRCRAFT with AVIONICS and AEROSPACE TESTING, was last year in Munich in March and it was a game changer almost doubling the size of the show overnight. So we knew we were onto something.

Aerospace Tech WEEK offers key networking opportunities throughout the event.
Aerospace Tech WEEK offers key networking opportunities throughout the event.

Q: What about FACE? How did they get involved?

A: We also got the opportunity to build on the Military presence at the event as FACE (Future Airborne Capability Environment) asked to join the 2020 event as many of their members were also participating within AVIONICS.

It then became apparent that that there was a clear opportunity to continue to add more niche overlapping technology events such as MRO IT and FLIGHT OPS IT which we soon added for the 2020 event. Again having already owned AVIATION MAINTENANCE MAGAZINE it was logical to use this media to help recognise the technological advances within this sector in the same event.

Aerospace Tech WEEK then gave us a strong brand to attract over 100 AIRLINES to the last show which AVIONICS alone had not yet been able to do. In fact we already have over 200 AIRLINES now scheduled to participate in our forthcoming show in Toulouse.

What’s the cornerstone of your success to attract the right people from these technology niches?

Having run some of the largest trade shows in the world, it was clear those blockbuster events struggled to give time and focus to credible conference tracks and, at best, they could only manage glorified supplier led show floor seminars. Starting with AVIONICS and continuing with the other sectors under this new brand we see ourselves as Conference Organisers not just big show organisers. It’s a different mindset – yes we are seeing a bigger and bigger show but, each of these elements has its own credible conference track. These tracks are built well in advance of the event and in conjunction with its own industry steering committee. We are extremely fortunate that these people give up their time to really get to the heart of what they and their clients need to know to run their business. That’s the difference and it works.

I think it helps the fact we publish some quality titles such as AVIATION MAINTENANCE and now Aerospace Tech REVIEW because, like a magazine, you have to really focus on the intellectual industry content of a show and not filling an exhibit hall.

Q: Do you see any additional industry sectors that could be incorporated in the future?

A: YES, part of the rationale to launch Aerospace Tech REVIEW was to delve deeper into other related technologies that our attendees and now readers would like to know about. For instance although Aerospace Tech REVIEW covers all the sectors of the show it has its own unique TECHNOLOGY and INNOVATION section that we are already planning to introduce as an additional (7th) event/conference track with Aerospace Tech WEEK 2021. The technologies we plan to cover in both media will be urban air mobility, eVTOL, sustainable fuel, cybersecurity and more. As this category builds in momentum we will start to attract a new segment of advertisers and exhibitors offering technological solutions to our existing and therefore newer audiences.

Aerospace Tech WEEK will be held in Toulouse, France on March 18/19, 2020.
Aerospace Tech WEEK will be held in Toulouse, France on March 18/19, 2020.

Q: When it seems to be the norm to close print magazines why launch Aerospace Tech REVIEW, especially with such a large print circulation (15,000).

A: We had already built a very targeted aviation technology database to promote the event and it seemed logical to create a medium that could communicate more regularly. There certainly seems to be a gap in the market for a dedicated technology publication. Especially since we have the inhouse skill set as having brought Simon Barker on board to help run part of the shows. He was, for many years, publisher for Aircraft Technology, Engineering & Maintenance (ATEM) which now doesn’t exist.

We also believe that whilst it’s essential we produce Aerospace Tech REVIEW in all the latest digital forms that there is still a demand for the aerospace industry to see a physical copy of the publication and for this to be made available worldwide!

Q: What’s the next step for the Aerospace Tech “Brand”?

A: We are confident that Aerospace Tech REVIEW will soon become the go to media resource for aerospace technologists and, as it works in unison with the biggest physical gathering, then we plan to launch the annual Aerospace Tech AWARDS to be held at the 2021 show when we return to Munich and each year thereafter. It will be a very convenient way to recognize and reward talent in this industry and will be the glue that fully connects Aerospace Tech WEEK and Aerospace Tech REVIEW.