Long Days Bring Encouraging Results – 2012 Farnborough Air Show

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Waking up at 5:30 a.m., out of the hotel by 7:00 a.m. and then a 2 hour 15 minute commute by subway, train and bus just to get to one of the world’s largest aerospace trade shows seems to be worth the effort and expense. A team representing North Carolina’s Eastern Region (NCER) spent the week at the Farnborough Air Show (FAS), outside London, meeting with officials from several companies and other regional organizations from the US and Europe. Joined by the NCER team were many other representatives from the state, including representatives from the Department of Commerce.

Waking up at 5:30 a.m., out of the hotel by 7:00 a.m. and then a 2 hour 15 minute commute by subway, train and bus just to get to one of the world’s largest aerospace trade shows seems to be worth the effort and expense. A team representing North Carolina’s Eastern Region (NCER) spent the week at the Farnborough Air Show (FAS), outside London, meeting with officials from several companies and other regional organizations from the US and Europe. Joined by the NCER team were many other representatives from the state, including representatives from the Department of Commerce.

Senior Vice President, NCER Len Kulik organized meetings where preexisting relationships were already in place from previous shows and NCER joined with allies Nexson-Pruitt, ElectriCities and the Global TransPark in contracting with the Global Consulting Trust on an additional seven pre-scheduled meetings with UK companies interested in establishing a presence in the US.

“Some were follow-up meetings with CEOs that we met at Farnborough two years ago at the Le Bourget (Paris) Air Show last year, but we also had several first time meetings,” said John Chaffee, President & CEO of NCER. “Len did a great job coordinating with Russ to set up meetings at the show and we still ended up with a number of double bookings and had to split up.”

Several of the companies with pre-arranged appointments are actively engaged in a site search already. Expectations are that companies from Italy, Germany, Kansas and California will make a visit to the Region over the next 6 months. Visiting representatives will experience firsthand many of the unique attributes that makes the area an attractive location for aerospace companies and inspect local buildings and sites.

A key advantage to attending the show is a large audience of aerospace companies in a single location. One unplanned meeting happened with a company who is actively seeking a US presence, simply because an official walked up to the NCER trade show booth. Progress was also made on several existing relationships and endeavors from years past. The marketing reach into two vital aerospace clusters in Italy and Poland was strengthened which will make more prominent the assets of the region in these two locations. Additional interest was express by a Fortune 500 company headquartered in NC and a leading international site location consultant in NCER’s STEM East Initiative.

Even with attendance down slightly from two years ago, the Region is very pleased with the number of quality relationships and leads gained from their presence at the Air Show. Estimates place attendance just under 100,000. Attending on behalf of the Region were President & CEO, John Chaffee and Senior Vice President, Len Kulik.