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Article from BTNews 2 NOVEMBER 2009

ON THE SOAPBOX: Amanda Stainer of Farnborough International Ltd

Amanda Stainer has been Exhibitions & Events Director for UK-based exhibitions organiser Farnborough International Ltd (FIL) since 2005 when it was spun off from the then SBAC, now ADS (Advancing UK Aerospace, Defence and Security Industries).  Stainer joined the aerospace industry from the The CBI and Barker Brown and brought with her a wealth of experience in the international exhibitions sector.

“Marketing is an essential part of any business strategy and exhibitions hold their own place within that mix.  There is no doubt that if the audience captured by an exhibition is right, it can be one of the best routes to market and increased sales opportunities.  Exhibition space sales for Farnborough 2010 – which takes place 19-25 July 2010 – although still in the fairly early stages of booking, look very positive with representation set to be almost as strong as ever and most of the major players from the industry planning a presence at the show.  This demonstrates that not everybody’s knee-jerk reaction to recession is to reduce their company promotions budgets.  What speaks with even more volume however is the take up for FIL’s new project, the Bahrain International Airshow 2010 (BIAS).

Exhibiting is one method of putting your company’s offering across.  Another is networking.  There are many schools of thought on networking as a method of increasing sales however there is one fundamental point, which I think most people would probably agree on – the higher the level of person you meet when networking, the better.  That said it is not always easy to gain access to the top people in order to make your pitch.  Even if a market is buoyant and business is there to be done, you still need a way in, in order to be able to capitalise on this.

So what has FIL done? The Middle Eastern aerospace market is one of the more promising in terms of riding out with the global recession and, as widely reported across Middle Eastern press, Bahrain in particular actually looks set to benefit as the world recovers from its economic crisis.  FIL recognised the need for a real networking event, on a highly exclusive scale in the Middle East and this is why we set about teaming up with CAA for the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2008 to organise the first-ever Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS).

Unlike other international airshows, which are large-scale events with exhibition halls and chalets, BIAS will host just 40 participating companies, each housed in a highly luxurious chalet, purchased as part of turnkey packages.  In addition to a five-star hospitality chalet to entertain clients and display products, the benefits of taking part will include tailor-made, highly exclusive opportunities for participating companies to meet with top-level civil and military delegations, buyers and suppliers who have been invited to the show in a VIP capacity.  Also on offer will be the chance for customer demonstration flights.

The take up for the first-ever BIAS has been phenomenal.  Chalets are now almost completely sold out demonstrating the perception of how valuable ‘made-to-measure’ networking opportunities are to business.

Looking forward to the realisation of what we are sure will be a quality event in January 2010, FIL has also been looking closely at the Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) and developing new ways to increase the scope for high-level networking at this long-established event and has already begun work on a themed programme of conferences and seminars to appeal to all sectors of the industry.  The programme is being designed to help facilitate meeting opportunities as well as greater engagement for exhibiting companies with government ministers.

I said that exhibiting is a valuable route to market if the audience is right and that networking with the right people at the right level can be one of the best ways to get a message across and boost sales.  As an exhibitions and events organiser, FIL sees it as our responsibility to help capture this audience and to deliver these precise conditions to our customers.  Knowing what your customers need and finding ways to deliver this with added value has always been a winning formula and one Farnborough International Ltd intends to stick with.”


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