June 1, 2021 Blogs

The Return of Trade Shows

About a month ago I had the great pleasure of attending MRO Americas 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Having the opportunity to reconnect with professional contacts throughout the aerospace industry was a welcome treat after more than a year of only being able to reach out via phone, email or video chat.

This year’s show wasn’t quite like previous years, attendance was still down because of the impact of COVID. But, in some ways that made this tradeshow even more enjoyable, giving me time to genuinely connect with contacts I hadn’t had the chance to see in a while. MRO Americas was a great opportunity to showcase TRI Aerospace Park and reconnect with contacts across the industry.

NETWORKS Sullivan Partnership co-sponsored our exhibit and Michael Parker from NETWORKS attended the show to help manage our booth and talk with attendees about the vast benefits of locating a business in Northeast Tennessee.

On a year-over-year basis, we notice that more of our fellow exhibitors and attendees, recognize and remember the Aerospace Park brand from previous years. This recognition and brand awareness is a huge accomplishment toward our goal to have the park fully leased.

The importance of tradeshows, like MRO Americas, to our industry cannot be overstated and we are thrilled to have more opportunities ahead of us now that life is becoming more normal. Since returning from April’s show, we’ve already hosted one site visit and had a conference call with developers who interested in learning more about the site.

Oftentimes, I have found that the most important component to successful economic development efforts is maintaining and growing relationships with individuals. They may not have a project that is a fit right now but that doesn’t mean they never will, especially as they move around within our highly specialized industry. It’s been important and rewarding to be able to reactivate old prospects as we begin attending tradeshows again.