Last day no-shows in Paris

By Joseph Normandin

Posted by John McHale

The Eurofighter and Eurocopter wowed the crowd at the Paris Air Show today -- the last day of the industrial exhibits and the first day open to the French public.
The Eurofighter and Eurocopter wowed the crowd at the Paris Air Show today -- the last day of the industrial exhibits and the first day open to the French public.

Unfortunately, many U.S. exhibitors were unable to hear the very loud roar of the Eurofighter's jet engine -- and not because the exhibition halls are sound proof. Most of the U.S. booths were ghost town. They either packed up and crossed the pond or were exploring the French cafes.

Something the French exhibitors were happy to point out to me. A typical comment was: "you see how most of the Americans are gone?"

Grrrr.

It was pretty glaring but maybe understandable. It is a considerable expense to staff a booth at the Paris Air Show for a week, plus Fridays at the air show are open to everyone. So instead of doing business they are mostly handing out lollipops and trinkets to kids or answering strange questions from average citizens.

However, Aerovironment officials told me they wished more U.S. companies stuck around on Friday, because it sends a more positive message -- especially to the French public.

"Yes, we don't make a lot of sales on Friday," but it is important to have a presence if you want to have a growing international business, said Stayne Hoff, director of international business development Aerovironment in Simi Valley, Calif. Leaving early may send the wrong message.

There are many foreign companies that "make very high-quality products," David Strong, vice president of marketing at FLIR in Beaverton, Ore., told me earlier in the week. "We need to be competitive with them"

His comments were made during a discussion on the many complicated import/export regulations that make it difficult for U.S. companies over seas.

However, the remarks could also apply to seeing an international trade show through to the end. If U.S. companies want to compete internationally they need not only to get some breaks from our State Department, but make the extra sales call or just stay the extra day at the world’s biggest air show.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

January 2014
Volume 25, Issue 1
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