The 2023 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) is just around the corner. It will be taking place October 17-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

In my opinion, NBAA-BACE is the second-best opportunity for maintenance managers and aviation maintenance professionals to gain the knowledge necessary for career advancement. (The best conference is NBAA’s Maintenance Conference, which offers three days of maintenance- and management-focused sessions!)

If you will be attending NBAA-BACE, you really should have a game plan. The exhibit hall will be open for a total of 23 hours over the course of three days. If you blindly walk up and down the aisles, you would need to visit one exhibitor every 1.4 minutes to cover the show floor! That’s pretty much impossible!

Here are a few suggestions for getting the most out of your show:

1. Put meetings and events on your schedule first. Since these have specific dates and times, browse through them to see which ones you don’t want to miss. Then block out that time on your calendar. 

2. Look up key exhibitors you need to see. Look up these exhibitors before the show so you know where they are located. NBAA has a good exhibitor directory you can use to do some preliminary planning. You can search for exhibitors by name or category. You can sort exhibitors by location and add personal appointments to make the most of your visit. (While you are planning for the show, make a note to visit D.O.M. magazine at booth N3118!)

3. Give yourself adequate time between appointments. NBAA-BACE is big. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time for your transit between talking to exhibitors and attending sessions. At the Las Vegas Convention Center, NBAA-BACE is split between two halls. Be sure to give yourself a little extra time if you need to travel to a different hall for your next meeting.

4. Ask questions. Trade shows are ideal opportunities to learn. Be sure to ask questions. If you are sitting in a seminar and have a question for the presenter, don’t be afraid speak up. Everyone could learn from your question. When talking to exhibitors, gather as much information as you can to make wise purchasing decisions.

5. Follow up. Follow up with the people you talk to at the show as soon as possible. Don’t let that stack of business cards sit on your desk or end up in the dreaded drawer of business card purgatory. Enter the information into your contact database as soon as you can.

Our companies spend a lot of money to send us to trade shows to get work done. We need to work hard to give them a return on that investment. After the show floor closes, many exhibitors sponsor after hours events. These are opportunities to kick back, relax and network with like-minded professionals. But don’t get carried away. Keep in mind that you are representing your company at all times and need to work the show the next day. 

Hope to see you in Vegas!

Thanks for reading,


About D.O.M. Magazine

D.O.M. magazine is the premier magazine for aviation maintenance management professionals. Its management-focused editorial provides information maintenance managers need and want including business best practices, professional development, regulatory, quality management, legal issues and more. The digital version of D.O.M. magazine is available for free on all devices (iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle).

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