2021 NBAA-BACE Showing Signs of Promise

 - June 18, 2021, 10:38 AM
NBAA, which last held its in-person BACE in 2019 in Las Vegas, is returning to the city to host the 2021 event, (Photo: Mariano Rosales)

The 2021 edition of NBAA-BACE is gaining steam with fewer than 100 exhibit spaces remaining for the October 12 to 14 event in Las Vegas, the association reported on Thursday. Many of the anchor exhibitors are returning, including OEMs such as Textron Aviation, suppliers like Universal Avionics, and other major support companies such as World Fuel Services.

In addition, exhibitor hotel registrations are on par with those for recent-year NBAA conventions in Las Vegas and the aircraft display at Henderson Executive Airport appears on track to sell out, said NBAA senior v-p for events Chris Strong. The event received an additional boost when Las Vegas lifted all of its Covid restrictions at the beginning of June.

Absent on the exhibit floor, however, will be Gulfstream Aerospace, which said its customers “have shared that their preference is for smaller events right now, and we are hosting those accordingly. We anticipate returning in the future.” Also, it's unclear whether travel restrictions may hamper some exhibitors and/or attendees.

But for those planning to exhibit, excitement “was palpable” during a tour last week of the 1.4 million-sq-ft West Hall that will be hosting the 2021 event. The participating delegation of exhibitors indicated plans for product introductions, announcements, and other special events this fall, the association added.

The delegation was able to see a live event underway—the World of Concrete exhibition—during its recent visit to the convention center. That event included measures such as online registration, wider show-floor aisles, and temperature screenings, NBAA said, but the association added that aside from those measures, the concrete show was “business as usual.”

“Having seen the new West Hall makes me even more excited about the live—and more importantly, in-person—NBAA-BACE event in October,” said Dawn Leeper of Universal Avionics. “It’s going to be great to see everyone in a few months.”

“Textron Aviation is looking forward to the return of NBAA-BACE,” added EJ Corporan of Textron Aviation. “The team at NBAA is doing an amazing job with its plans to bring everyone back together safely in this new space. While the virtual events have kept us all connected throughout this time, there really is no substitute for the in-person networking platform that NBAA-BACE provides our industry.”

The new venue features open exhibit areas, digital signage, and large “elephant doors” that NBAA said will better accommodate the indoor aircraft display and advanced air mobility (AAM) pavilion. In addition, the facility features a rooftop terrace that can be used for receptions and other gatherings.

“October is going to be the perfect time to kick off our first big, in-person event—a coming back together for the industry in so many ways,” said Kassidy Carpenter of World Fuel Services. “You can see people are ready to get back together, and the new West Hall is the perfect place to do that.”

“On every level, Las Vegas is ready to host NBAA-BACE,” Strong said.