Flying Aviation Expo by the Numbers

Inaugural show draws 5,000 visitors.

Flying Aviation Expo Concludes

Flying Aviation Expo Concludes

Flying Aviation Expo

The inaugural Flying Aviation Expo is in the books and I've got to tell you, I'm a little bummed. It's that same post-show letdown I get after each Sun 'n Fun and Oshkosh. I'm completely worn out from the frenzy of it all, and still, I didn't want the party to end. In the case of Aviation Expo, what an incredible party it was.

I had at least a dozen visitors stop me to thank Flying for hosting the show. My response was to thank them, sincerely, for coming. After all, without enthusiastic and engaged visitors like we had in Palm Springs, California, the show doesn't happen. Each of them said they would be back next year and will be telling their flying buddies about what a great time it was.

While nowhere near the size of an AirVenture or Sun 'n Fun, Flying Aviation Expo got off to an unqualified successful start, thanks in large part to our terrific partner Lift Event Management. The Parade of Planes featured 36 aircraft taxiing from the airport to the convention center downtown as hundreds cheered and waved from the sidelines. Inside and outside the Palm Springs Convention Center more than 130 exhibitors set up temporary shop, while attendees streamed into more than 60 panel discussions and seminars during the three-day Expo from October 31 to November 2.

The final visitor tally was around 5,000, a solid turnout for a first show, especially considering that Aviation Expo was announced only last spring and that a fast-moving storm system over Southern California on Saturday probably kept some would-be attendees grounded. We're absolutely anticipating an even bigger and better show next year.

We've been talking a lot about where and when to host future events, but after the inaugural show we're all in agreement that Palm Springs in the fall is right place and time for Flying Aviation Expo to continue. Several visitors I spoke with begged us to keep going with a West Coast show. And it makes sense, with Sun 'n Fun in Florida in the spring, AirVenture in the middle of the country in the summer and, now, Flying Aviation Expo in autumn in Palm Springs.

We'll be working out the full details in the coming weeks but you can go ahead and mark your calendars for mid-October 2015. In the meantime, if you have photos or video from the show or the attendee parties, be sure to share them with us on our Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #AE2014.

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