Sun n Fun 2023 definitely felt like it had returned to its pre-covid glory. The atmosphere was charged with expectations, and the show did not disappoint. Sport Aircraft Canada was there representing Kanardia Avionics, while our US friends from AeroSport were front and centre in Paradise City displaying the popular BushCat from Rainbow SkyReach.
Sun n Fun reported record crowds for its 49th show, but it still has an intimacy that doesn’t exist at other large shows. And this makes it a great venue for attendees, because they can spend quality time with the exhibitors, and the possibility of making a deal on a new aircraft is far more likely. In fact, Aerosport was able to sell their exhibit plane, in the first couple of hours, on the first day of the show! Thankfully the owner was happy to leave it there so that 200,000 other people could enjoy it for the week. Inside the hangars where the trade show exhibitors are located were busy, but reports are that a substantial amount of commerce took place. This means people were able to get what they came for and vendors were happy. With the more relaxed atmosphere of Sun n Fun, there’s no problem getting in front of the products you want to see and talking with the staff.
As a vendor, our company looks to shows as an opportunity to discover new products we’d like to add to our shelves. So while we are there to show off what we do, we’re also thinking about what other things we might want to offer to our customers that will improve their ownership and flying experience. Sometimes that’s hard to do unless you have a large staff and can spare the people who can navigate the crowds to actually find something. Instead, we usually show up early before the shows officially start and spend time networking. There is simply no way to have access to so many possibilities in one space. This year we signed a deal with an Oxygen systems company to supply and install in our shop. Aithre Inc manufactures state-of-the-art biometrically controlled O2 systems for the light aircraft industry. While we’re all competing for the same consumer dollars, there is tremendous value in building relationships with your fellow dealers and competitors. When your customers know that you are a respected and valuable part of the community, they 100% factor that into their buying decision.
Building relationships also means building brand awareness. The SkyReach BushCat has become one of the most well-known platforms in the industry for its attractive pricing, easy build, and flexible options. As the Canadian dealer for SkyReach, we rarely have to explain much when it comes to the BushCat. Our customers usually know as much as we do about the planes because there is so much information available from the media and internet influencers. You just can’t put a price on the value of being there, because people are constantly dropping by to take pictures and video which eventually makes its way online. And there is nothing more satisfying than a customer showing up for the first time to see the plane in person, and their eyes light up. The passion we all have for the BushCat is visible immediately to anyone who comes by the booth, and our customers become our best salespeople.
Jeremy and Daniela from Aerosport have to take a lot of credit for the success of the plane. We’ve been working alongside them for several years now and we’ve learned so much. We’ve watched the way they work with their customers to make dreams come true. I hate to even label them as a sales team because while a sale might be the result, the process is more of an adoption into a family of absolutely superb people who love to fly their BushCats.