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Five Tips for NBAA2012 Attendees

October 1, 2012

NBAA Flight Plan interview with Linda Peters, NBAA vice president of exhibits

The art of business aviation is, in large part, the art of successful anticipation – leaving as little to chance as possible. NBAA Vice President of Exhibits Linda Peters believes the same is true of attending the Association’s Annual Meeting & Convention (NBAA2012). Here are her five tips for attending this year’s event, which will be held from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center and Showalter Flying Service at Orlando Executive Airport (ORL).

Tip 1: Prepare From the Bottom Up

“At NBAA2012, you are wearing the most comfortable pair of shoes you own because the exhibit hall, static displays and meeting rooms cover a lot of ground. You need to make sure you have comfortable shoes when you set out,” Peters suggested.

Tip 2: Provision Yourself

Walking and talking your way through an NBAA Convention can take a lot out of you, especially in the warm Florida climate. “Carry a bottle of water with you,” she said. “There are plenty of places to buy water. Have a water bottle in hand.”

Another item she keeps handy is lotion, sunblock or lip balm to protect your skin, whether you are indoors or out. “The air is usually pretty dry inside a convention center. You’re talking a lot or you’re out on the static display in the sunshine and your lips can burn. I always carry ChapStick or something like that,” Peters explained.

Tip 3: There’s an App for That

Arriving at the show without knowing what you want to see and do is like taking off without a flight plan, Peters said.

“NBAA has again this year created a mobile app that enables you to pre-plan your visit. It includes a great exhibitor directory and an interactive floor plan. It has a full schedule of educational sessions. The key here is to plan in advance,” said Peters.

Tip 4: Use the NBAA Booth as a Resource

Many NBAA Members want to meet staff members in person to talk about issues they consider especially important – something NBAA strongly encourages. But chasing any one person down at an event where more than 25,000 are expected to attend can be extremely difficult.

“The NBAA booth, No. 3135, is the go-to place for meeting staff members,” Peters said. “You can arrange in advance to meet someone there. That’s a central point for staff to check in at the Convention. And even if you don’t find them there, you can always use the NBAA booth as a resource to find the staff member you’re looking for.”

Tip 5: Network!

“One of the greatest opportunities at an NBAA Convention is the chance to network, to meet old and new friends,” Peters said. “There are so many ways to do this – and they’re by no means limited to the exhibit hall floor.”

There are many after-hours activities during the Convention.

“And don’t forget to get out to the Static Display of Aircraft at Orlando Executive Airport,” she suggested. “The bus ride to and from the airport is one of the best ways to meet people. You just can’t beat it.”