Exhibitors bring wares to AirVenture
By James Wynbrandt
The Stevens family
from Corsicana, Texas
check out the sites at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006.
Photo by Phil Weston.
not only the world’s biggest air show. EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 is
also the world’s largest aviation shopping mall, thanks to the
hundreds of manufacturers and distributors that showcase the latest and
greatest in aviation products and services here every year. The
transformation of empty exhibition hangars and fallow display areas into
an aviation shopper’s paradise happens almost overnight.
pretty much set up an entire store in about three days," said Tim
Kreider, East Coast store manager of Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co.
By Saturday morning, staffers of the Corona, California-based aircraft
parts and aviation supply were putting the finishing touches on the
company’s booth in Exhibit Hangar A. For Aircraft Spruce, as with many
exhibitors, a display at AirVenture is a key part of the company’s
formula for success.
importance of our presence here is face-to-face contact with
customers," said Kreider. "We’re primarily a mail order
company, and this is the one place we know we’re going to see more of
our customers—North American and international—than any other spot,
being the biggest GA (general aviation) air show in the world."
also gives exhibitors a chance to make business-to-business contacts.
is a great opportunity to talk to our vendors," said Mark Wennin,
marketing director of RAM Aircraft, which makes products for Cessna 300
and 400 series aircraft, as well as for Beechcraft Barons and Bonanzas.
"And it’s the perfect time for a marketing person – me – to
see magazines and talk to editors."
have to be here to be known," said Bob Avery, of Avery Tools,
setting up his booth with his wife, Judy, and their staffers in Exhibit
Tools, which makes tools used by homebuilders of metal aircraft, has
been exhibiting for 23 straight years. But as with other exhibitors,
being at AirVenture is not all business.
is seeing friends and supporting the EAA," said Avery, a longtime
EAA member who is building an RV-4, the popular all-metal kit aircraft.
Avery also donates tools every year to KidVenture, the children’s
program of AirVenture.
Saturday, 789 exhibitors were registered to display their wares this
really neat is watching the exhibitors grow," said Rebecca Blake,
the EAA’s exhibit coordinator. "They start with one booth and
each year (their display) gets a little bigger and a little more
Main Aircraft Display Area, Aviat Aircraft President Stu Horn was doing
grunt work with the rest of his crew, surrounded by several of the
manufacturer’s Husky aircraft.
"I don’t know of
any other show on the planet that is so well organized," Horn said.
[EAA president and AV chairman] Tom [Poberezny] and his staff make
everything flow so seamlessly. Each year they grow it, add higher value
to it, bringing in special airplanes, special pilots, and special
personalities, which is why you can’t not be here."
Turbine Cubs of Wyoming crew sets up for AirVenture. Jay DeRosier holds
a frame in place.
Wayne Axelson puts a support in place while Sharon Axelson waits to do
her part with ties. Photo by Phil Weston.