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BizAv Means More Than Business at NBAA 2018

Deals were made. Relationships, strengthened. Educational sessions, attended. Advanced technologies, debuted. The 2018 National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is always good for business. Yet, more than ever, NBAA 2018 boosted more than the bottom line. It ignited imaginations and elevated spirits.

Discarding Assumptions to Rise Higher

bertrand piccard delivers nbaa 2018 keynote

Clean-energies proponent and aviation innovator Bertrand Piccard captivated us with his keynote message. Piccard and Brian Jones made the first-ever nonstop flight around the world in a balloon, the Breitling Orbiter 3, in 1999. It took them 20 days and almost 8,000 pounds of fuel. Then he and copilot Andre Borschberg circumnavigated the globe in a glider, the Solar Impulse, in 2016. They flew 40,000 km without a drop of fuel. Solar energy powered the glider’s four electric motors and their propellers without polluting emissions or noise.

Piccard said there was a moment when he thought, “This is science fiction, I’m in the future,” then realized, “No, I’m in the present. This is what the technologies of today already allow me to do. The rest of the world was in the past.”

The experts said it couldn’t be done, so he turned to outsiders for funding and glider design. “the people who made the best candles did not invent the lightbulb,” he said. “You have to go through moments of frustration and humiliation when you’re doing something never done before. … The only people to laugh are the people who do not try.”

Changing minds and shifting paradigms is like flying a balloon, he said. In order to climb, you must drop ballast or weight. “Innovation comes when you throw away an old belief,” he said. Piccard predicts that electric airplanes will be flying up to 50 passengers by 2026. “The countdown has started.”

Hard-Earned Recognition – 75 Years Later

Wichita’s Russ Meyer presented NBAA’s Meritorious Service to Aviation Award to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). WASP granddaughter Erin Miller accepted the award. After her grandmother Elaine Harmon’s wish to be buried at Arlington was denied, in 2016 Miller spearheaded legislation that secures inurnment rights at Arlington National Cemetery.

WASPs presented NBAA 2018 Meritorious Service to Aviation Award to the Women Airforce Service Pilots

The WASP organization, founded in 1943, helped the United States fill the need for more pilots. WASP flew every aircraft the Army had. They ferried planes, towed gunnery targets, transported equipment and personnel and flight-tested aircraft. More than 1,100 WASP served at more than 120 bases and flew more than 60 million miles before the program was suspended in December 1944. Thirty-eight WASP lost their lives and one disappeared on a ferry mission.

As civil service employees, WASP didn’t qualify for military benefits. Members personally paid for their own dress uniforms, room and board and transportation to training. WASP records were classified and sealed for 35 years, masking these women’s wartime contributions. After lobbying efforts, in 1977 the records were unsealed and veteran status granted to WASP members. Today, there are roughly 40 surviving WASP. The three who attended the NBAA 2018 presentation – dressed in uniform – earned a standing ovation.

These women showed they had the right stuff when times called for their service. As we work to encourage more men and women to consider careers in aviation, it’s good to recall those who came before. And to let them inspire future generations.

This column originally ran in the Oct. 25, 2018, issue of BlueSky News.

sonia greteman stands in front of nbaa 2018 entrance
NBAA 2018 drew roughly 1,000 exhibitors and 25,000 industry professionals from Oct. 16-18 at the Orange County Convention Center and Orlando Executive Airport.


flightsafety remembers bruce whitman at nbaa 2018
David Davenport and Ray Johns, who will serve as co-CEOs of FlightSafety International, led the celebration for Bruce Whitman, who joined the company in 1961 and built it into the training leader it is today. Other longtime friends who spoke included Aviation Week Editor-in-Chief William Garvey, Aviation International News Publisher Wilson Leech, Dassault Falcon CEO John Rosanvallon and Gulfstream President Mark Burns.


usaig paul ratte and sonia greteman talk at nbaa 2018
USAIG’s Paul Ratte and Sonia Greteman talk about the successes of the safety posters that run in Aviation International News and online.


king aerospace pictured with ge aviation after signing ge on point service center agreement
King Aerospace Commercial Corporation and GE Aviation finalized a deal making King a GE OnPoint™ service center, a nice bit of timing for King as it celebrates its 25th anniversary. The multiyear agreement includes aircraft engine maintenance and repair for CFM56-7B-powered BBJs.


wichita aero club president dave franson announces 2019 gala honoree as eaa ceo jack pelton
Wichita Aero Club President Dave Franson announced the 2019 gala honoree will be Experimental Aircraft Association CEO and former Cessna CEO Jack Pelton. Equally smile inducing, the January event will be held in the sparkling-new hangar for the fully restored, beloved B-29 Superfortress known as Doc.


dreams soar founder shaesta waiz honored as nbaa 2018 40 under 40
NBAA’s inaugural class of Business Aviation Top 40 Under 40 included Dreams Soar founder Shaesta Waiz, the youngest woman to solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft. Waiz recently shared her pro-aviation, STEM message to Wichita schoolchildren and industry professionals. Congrats to all these up and comers, many of whom have already achieved at a very high level.


nbaa 2018 static display
Sonia Greteman and Ashley Bowen Cook were especially taken with this Airbus EC130 T2. With room for up to seven passengers, it could have transported all of our team attending NBAA 2018.


nbaa 2018 bbj boeing business jet cutaway
This Boeing Business Jet cutaway at NBAA 2018 meticulously recreates the luxurious interior.

See all of Greteman Group’s photos in our NBAA Facebook album.

Wolfe named Responsible Designer to Watch by GDUSA

Meghan Wolfe speaks softly but wields a mighty design wand. The way she waves it to create order, arrest attention and move hearts, well, it’s practically magical. The young designer has risen to the ranks of art director in her five years with Greteman Group, a creative powerhouse that serves clients around the globe. When Wolfe chose the field of graphic design, she plunged in, determined to shake things up. She experiments. Seeks unconventional solutions. Explores nuances of color and typography. Creates work that vibrates with vitality.

How did you become involved in designing for good, any thoughts on why design is an effective tool for this goal, and any specific examples you might like to mention or are particularly proud of.

I’ve always sought a career that has an affect on the greater good. I find inspiration all around but especially in nature. The glorious flowers that color our world and the plants that yield our food, for example, don’t just happen. Pollinating bees make them possible. When I learned of their endangerment, I knew I wanted to bring attention to this major issue. Our agency created the Free to Bee campaign, which I championed and helped execute. Our hope was this campaign would generate buzz about these winged wonders. Providing simple suggestions to help bees thrive made it easy for anyone to take action in their own backyard.
We created a microsite and using social media, email blasts and press releases, invited one and all to wing their way over. A sharable :40 video (set to the sound of Flight of the Bumblebee) added to the fun. Visitors plant virtual gardens for bees. They scroll over objects and little-known facts pop up. (Are you aware that honeybees never sleep and their faster-than-the-eye wings stroke 11,400 times a minute?)

The site communicates bees’ vital role in pollinating flowers, fruit trees and crops. (Bees play a part in almost every bite of food we eat.) Whimsical graphics and playful animation make learning fun. In addition to the site, Greteman Group issued a donation to Botanica, the Wichita Gardens. Its 18 acres of wildflower meadows, canopied woodlands, formal gardens and water features offer sanctuary for pollinators and humans alike.

Any special challenges, opportunities, urgencies in 2018?

As of August, a ban on pesticides linked to declining bee populations has been lifted, which poses a grave threat to pollinating insects.) And climate change continues to pose a threat to bee colonies. Beekeepers reported an increase in honeybee deaths over the last year, citing abnormal weather patterns as the possible cause. The battle is far from over. We must do what we can to protect our pollinators. Which means Free to Bee will continue to be relevant for some time to come.

This feature originally appeared in GDUSA

NBAA Social Media Musts

As you make final preparations for the business aviation community’s largest U.S. tradeshow, don’t forget your social media strategy. The National Business Aviation Association’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) starts in just a few weeks. Your flights and rooms are booked. Hopefully you broke in your walking shoes a month ago. But have you finalized your plan of attack for creating and distributing social content while you’re boots on the ground?

Here are a few NBAA social media tips you can activate last minute.

Do Your Research

You still have time to research the social media accounts, handles and popular hashtags of the prospective and current customers, partners and media reps you plan to visit at the convention. Keep #NBAA18, #NoPlaneNoGain, #BizAvWorks and other hashtags and accounts on your phone for easy reference.

I add all the information I need – schedules, speakers or booth numbers – to a note on my phone so I can just copy and paste it from there into a tweet or a LinkedIn post. Colleague Jordan Walker likes to build up her social community ahead of time. She researches then follows targeted accounts and people on Twitter before she ever heads to Orlando.

While you’re researching NBAA accounts and contacts, take a look at your own social profiles. Audit your personal LinkedIn profile. Is it up-to-date with your current responsibilities? Does it read like your resumé, or are you activating it as a sales professional? Update your profile photo to your most recent headshot. Add a relevant cover photo. Apply these tips to Twitter, too, so you can interact with media professionals as well as new connections. We use professional headshots and a graphic representing our agency for our LinkedIn accounts. It’s important to have a complete profile and recognizable photo while you’re working the room.

Plan Ahead

Think about your day, start to finish, on the show floor. What are you doing? Who are you talking to? Where is your phone? We know how busy you are, working the hall and exploring aircraft on static display. Sometimes, it’s not feasible to post all of your NBAA social content while you’re at NBAA. Our schedules are packed to the hour, so we schedule social ahead of time.

Using a social management system (SMS) such as Hootsuite, you can schedule NBAA-specific content to distribute while you’re at the show. Draft thank-you posts to partners as well as posts sharing your primary company messages and thought-leadership content, such as whitepapers, case studies and one-sheets. Load them into your SMS and hit the road. We write blogs and guest columns almost weekly throughout the year, and repurpose our content during NBAA by scheduling articles most appropriate for show attendees.

Add Live Content

Research done, profiles up-to-date and content scheduled, it’s time to hit the conventional hall and static display. Your daily schedule will dictate what you do and who you see, so plan to create meaningful, engaging content opportunities around your agenda.

Consider implementing these ideas:

  • Post content showcasing the energy of the tradeshow on Facebook and Instagram. These two heavily visual social channels will require photos or videos to accompany text.
  • Facebook and Instagram Stories also offer a way to incorporate live video into your show communications. Quick interviews with team members or play-by-play of your agenda can be engaging to audiences who follow you online – and at the show.
  • Use Twitter to share highlights from keynotes or panel discussions you attend. Don’t forget your hashtags.
  • Twitter is also the best place to talk to the media. Journalists and publications tweet nonstop during NBAA. Follow along and engage.
  • Wrap up lessons learned over lunch on LinkedIn in a longer post talking about your favorite presentation of the morning. Do it again at the end of the day.

Business aviation professionals and companies have an opportunity to participate in these platforms with great content, especially when all eyes are watching at NBAA. See you at the show.

Looking for effective lead-generation strategies? Take a look at our work with HNWI audiences and workforce recruitment.

This column originally appeared in the Oct. 4, 2018 issue of BlueSky News. 

Ready for Mountain Time

One of Wichita’s biggest travel pain points has been the lack of an affordable direct flight to Denver, one of our community’s top destinations. Many travelers have driven, flown out of another airport or maybe not taken the trip at all due to the mile-high fares. That changed in August 2018 when ultra-low-fare-carrier Frontier Airlines returned to our market. We quickly went to work getting the word out.

The Power of Digital
Google banner ads and Facebook promoted posts targeted both business and leisure travelers, encouraging them to participate in our Mountain Time online contest. An email blast to the airport’s database, a graphic on the airport’s website homepage and organic social media extended our reach even more.

Easy to Enter, Everyone Wins
To enter, people simply selected what they would most like to do from a list of key Denver-area activities. The top Rocky Mountain activities submitted? Hiking, the Red Rocks amphitheater and Denver zoo. In addition to reminding people about the unique fun Denver offers, it educated them about this new travel option and its better-than-ever low fares.

Engaging and Educational
The three-week contest generated the airport’s highest number of entries to date: more than 2,000. It also increased engagement with people spending more than two minutes onsite, visiting other pages on to learn about flights, parking, promotions, news and more. The randomly selected winner snagged two $250 travel vouchers on Frontier from Wichita to Denver, a two-night downtown hotel stay, two Denver CityPASS tickets and five days of free airport parking. Don’t know about you, but with prices like Frontier’s, we’re ready to grab our bags and head to the Rockies.

Click here to see past contests and campaigns we’ve done for the Wichita airport.