Mother Nature wasn’t kind to the 2015 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo on its opening days, but the event still produced one of the most positive financial reports in recent years. And exhibitors praised the new Wednesday through Saturday format.
Newly dubbed “The Affordable Aircraft Expo,” the 2015 Expo welcomed refurbished production aircraft for the first time and hosted the first Aircraft Sales Lot at a national aviation event. Aircraft owners were invited to showcase their private aircraft of all types for sale in an area managed by Aviators Hot Line. Jacob Peed, vice president of business development at Heartland Communications, which includes Aviators Hot Line, said the Sales Lot was quite successful. “We had a total of 18 aircraft on display at various times throughout the Expo and there was a lot of interest in those aircraft. We’ll definitely host the Sales Lot at Expo 2016, and we already have some ideas for making improvements.”
Peed called the Wednesday through Saturday format a success. “We talked with most of our advertisers during the event and all were pleased with the new schedule. I know the Expo organizers changed the schedule based on feedback from exhibitors, and I think it was a good move.”
Peed continued, “We were very pleased with our results at Expo 2015; we ran out of magazines to distribute for the first time ever at this event, and our advertisers reported solid sales being put together. We’re planning to increase our support of Expo 2016; it’s a great show that’s moving in the right direction and serves its purpose well.”
Referencing the Wednesday through Saturday format, Expo Director Jana Filip added that past research with Expo attendees has shown that visitors from around the country typically use Sunday as a travel day to return home to work and other commitments. “Sunday historically has never been a big day for admissions, but Saturday has been. This year, Wednesday was the big surprise, having the biggest one-day online admissions sales, which reinforced the format change.
“At the end of the weekend, the numbers for Expo 2015 were strong. Attendance actually reached a new high at just a smidgeon more than 18,500. Revenues were on target for admissions, exhibitor booth rentals, and aviation partners/sponsors. But, Expo experienced new dollar highs from campground revenue, scooter rentals, online ticket sales, and Expo merchandise sales. In addition, first-ever revenues were generated from the Aircraft Sales Lot and Underwing Camping,” Filip concluded.
The 12th annual U.S. Sport Aviation Expo will be held Wednesday through Saturday, January 20-23, 2016, with a wider focus on “affordable flying.” The Expo will again welcome ultralights, light-sport, homebuilt, and refurbished production aircraft.
Exhibitor registration will open soon. For more information, contact Jana Filip, Expo Director, Sebring Regional Airport, 128 Authority Lane, Sebring, FL 33870, call 863-655-6444, x117, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.