NBAA-BACE plays an outsized role in business aviation. Fostering deals. Celebrating product rollouts. Highlighting innovation. When the news broke that NBAA 2020 was being canceled this fall, we understood the decision. But it rocks our world.

The show will be back in Fall 2021 at Vegas, our favorite host city. Hopefully, it will be bigger and better than ever. But in the interim, how do companies fill the void that this and other tradeshow cancellations leave? We’ve been giving this thought and have suggestions. (No surprise there, right?)

no nbaa 2020 means you have to bring the reporters to you
World Fuel Services used our outside support to ensure its considerable news received maximum coverage at NBAA-BACE 2019.

Bring Reporters to You

Without NBAA-BACE as the platform for announcements, leverage and magnify your news by going directly to journalists. Host onsite media days and/or onsite press conferences. Invite select, small groups of editors and reporters. Ensure them you will follow pandemic protocol best practices as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control or other reputable organization.

Onsite not in the cards for you? Deploy virtual press conferences. Livestream the event to connect with journalists and stakeholders throughout the country and world. We suggest YouTube Live, but there are many platforms available. Just as with an in-person press conference, make it worth attendees time. Only hold if you have real news to convey. Amp up the value with high-level speakers who personalize the messaging with interesting angles, anecdotes and insights. Leave enough time for a robust Q&A session.

use video to show off your products in place of nbaa 2020 showcases
Every year, NBAA-BACE hosts an Innovation Zone. Create your own with a livestream product launch or announcement. Read our tips for streaming success.

Show in Addition to Tell

Without the benefit of in-person demonstrations, invest in high quality videos that do your product or service justice. Size the videos to work across all your channels: earned, owned, shared and paid. Video evokes emotion – including trust. It helps build relationships and confidence in your offerings. Poor quality video, of course, erodes both.

Go Old School

Remember the dimensional direct mails you used to send out and how great of an impact they had? Well, just as you may have thought print was dead, the coronavirus has given it new life. A physical, tangible way to communicate your message captures attention. Make it creative so it evades the trash can and ensure gatekeepers put it front of the CEO or other desired decision maker.

In addition to direct mail, add supporting digital and social media components. For instance, the print piece can include a call to action that drives recipients to a landing page with more information and engagement opportunities. Shifting dollars to targeted campaigns with multiple levers that get pulled over time allows you to see what’s working and what’s not. And to react accordingly.

NBAA-BACE also allows industry professionals to network with new and longtime friends. We loved running into Todd Winter, CEO of Mid-Continent Instruments and a longtime friend of the agency, in 2017.

Keep Top of Mind

Conventions exist for networking. How can extroverts (like my boss Sonia Greteman) get their social fix? Facetime, baby, even if it’s virtual. If nothing else, COVID-19 has taught us that video conferencing goes a long way in reducing isolation and loneliness. Zoom will never replace face to face, but it helps keep social connections alive and thriving. Happy hours can (and do) take place long distance. Even if you can’t clink glasses. Like all of life, it’s the thought that counts.