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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.


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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Volume 9, Number 7 August 2, 2008     

Exhibitors report brisk sales
By Allison Reineck

Cirrus Design Co-founder and Vice Chairman Dale Klapmeier. Photo by Jaclyn Zwerg

Dierdre Skaggs and Steve Sihler at the Shell exhibit. Photo by Jaclyn Zwerg

For companies, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is an amazing opportunity to expose new products, attract new customers, and sell merchandise.

Since AirVenture 2008 began on Monday, attendance and sales for companies exhibiting here has been steady, if not higher than previous years. With 800-plus exhibitors this year, including Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co., Garmin, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Shell Aviation/AeroShell Lubricants, and Cirrus Design, all expressed how amazing the turnout has been this year.

Directly inside the admission gate is the Cirrus display, including the new Cirrus Vision SJ50. Many are stopping to speak to Cirrus employees about questions they have or to express their interest in the aircraft.

“This year has been tremendous. It feels like it’s [attendance] been up,” said Cirrus Design Co-founder and Vice Chairman Dale Klapmeier. “This proves that people need to travel, are traveling, and will still fly regardless of the economy or what have you.”

Floyd Gutowski, Cirrus regional sales director, explained that their primary focus is to bring people up to date and give them a chance to view the aircraft. “The response is, we’re busy,” Gutowski said. “I had one gentleman come back three times already.”

Along with Cirrus, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co. is seeing an increase in customers, which means an increase in sales as well. “We are very busy, and the traffic has definitely been up this year,” John Markley, sales manager, said.

According to Markley, they have reached record sales at their exhibit, approximately 15 percent up since the previous years. The company, located in Exhibit Hangar A, has everything for aircraft, and many of the international visitors are purchasing items to be shipped out of the country.

“We do a lot of shipping for international customers,” Markley said. “But there is definitely a lot more domestic customers at AirVenture than there were at Sun ’n Fun this year.”

Attendees are continuing to flock from one exhibit hangar to the next, and Garmin, located in Exhibit Hangar B, is one that many attendees are interested in. The Garmin exhibit is equipped with a lot of merchandise, but many attendees ask about the new Bendix/King by (Honeywell) AV8OR.

“We’ve seen increasing sales throughout the week,” Dave Bremner, sales associate, said. “Traditionally Friday is a good crowd, and we’re hoping to see a lot more people today and tomorrow.”

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company was surprised to see the amount of people in attendance at this year’s show. Although Goodyear is not selling its products at AirVenture, it’s providing attendees with valuable information regarding its company.

“It’s been a good year. Better than expected,” Richard Brown, general aviation sales and marketing manager, said. “Many of the questions we get are, ‘How do your products differentiate from others?’ and ‘How can we get a blimp ride?’”

The enthusiasm of the AirVenture attendees to learn more about the exhibitors’ products and perhaps make a purchase continues to excite the companies showcasing their products in the hangars. “Monday was amazing,” Pam Royko, volunteer for Shell Aviation/AeroShell Lubricants, said.

Her husband, Paul, is the technical manager for the United States and said the company had the best Monday in three to four years. “Plus, the turnout was a surprise, considering all of the bad news you hear on TV,” he said.

So many attendees have purchased Shell oil that they nearly ran out of it at the exhibit booth these last few days. A truckload of oil came Friday just to make sure they had enough for the remainder of AirVenture. “The sales have been excellent this year,” Jim Danner, sales associate, said.

Exhibitors can only find customers so dedicated and eager to learn about the latest aviation products at AirVenture, and the attendees are proving it.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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