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Education and Fun Coming Together

Have you made plans to attend this year’s NAAA Ag-Aviation Expo? For the first time, the expo will be in Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville is a very convenient location for the vast majority of US ag pilots. I can’t remember when I visited Knoxville, even though it is a relatively short drive north on the interstate from AgAir Update’s office in Perry, Georgia. I expect many ag pilots from the southern states this year because of this location. I am sure the NAAA staff and board have done an excellent job scouting the location.

I look forward to attending NAAA’s Ag-Aviation Expo and expect to see you there!

On page A8 of this edition of AgAir Update, I noticed in the list of state shows that an overwhelming number of conventions are being held in January. I’ve been attending state shows for over 35 years and still don’t understand the lack of coordination between states. Maybe it is not significant when two shows overlap dates and long distances separate the locations. However, it does not make sense when the states have joining borders, and their convention dates overlap. Some ag-pilots fly in those overlapping states, and it causes them to have to choose which convention to attend.

There are only a fixed number of days in January (31). Not all conventions can be held during this time. Only four state conventions are scheduled in February 2023, compared to eleven in January; it doesn’t add up. I realize one problem is which state decides to move its convention to February. If a state is suffering attendance due to an overlap with another convention, maybe it would be better for everyone concerned for the lesser attendance state to move its convention dates.

I know that I am not privy to all that goes into scheduling a convention. I also know that overlapping conventions are not suitable for exhibitors and attendees. There would be better participation with better planning. This issue may eventually resolve itself should some states combine their conventions with other states. This would be much better for the exhibitors but could cause travel issues for attendees of the guest state. But, combining state conventions work for the Mid-States conference, the Pacific Northwest Conference, the Northeast convention, the Southeast Aero Cultural Fair, and the Tri-States convention. This means that five conventions have consolidated over 16-17 state shows, which works very well, as attested by their attendance.

I suppose I need to get off my soap box about state trade shows before I offend someone. I’m simply relaying the thoughts of many attendees and exhibitors, including myself. I understand that I am not involved with the efforts made to host a trade show, and thus there could be many holes in my opinion. Please don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the work done for our industry to have first-class conventions. Kudos to all those who work to be sure of this!

Until next month, Keep Turning…






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