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San Francisco: NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference

The NBAA is the National Business Aviation Association, and their Schedulers’ & Dispatchers’ Conference theme was “Take the Lead.” Keynote speaker Betty Shotton, CEO of LiftOff Leadership, invited delegates to “step up to the launchpad” and prepare to take the lead. Shotten conducted conference participants on a journey into the possibilities and obstacles that face careers in aviation, as individuals and as team members — a change of scenery, new horizons, elevated perspectives for contemplating the roles of character and  choices in career development.   NBAA noted that most organizations using business aircraft are small and mid-size companies, but also include universities, governments and charitable organizations. The show looked at the industry’s record on safety, security and environmental stewardship. It also reported on the thousands of air ambulance and mercy flights flown by business aircraft each year, as well as the hundreds of relief missions flown in response to natural disasters. Okay, everyone check their parachutes and first-aid kits, please…

St. Louis: American Bus Marketplace – ABA

ABA is the American Bus Association Marketplace.  The way we heard them, the numbers were pretty impressive.  More than 3,300 people attended the show.  734 motorcoach and tour operators were in attendance, and 300 motorcoach and tour operator delegates took appointments during the week.  There were 309 sponsors.  252 Associate service & product suppliers attended, and 40 associate product and service suppliers exhibited.  The Networking Floor offered 12 motorcoaches and 130 exhibitors.  Over $25,000 was raised for Stray Rescue of St. Louis, an animal welfare organization out on the streets taking a proactive approach through rescue efforts, sheltering, community outreach, education, collaborations, and encouraging responsible pet ownership.  Oh, yeah, remember “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree”?  Legendary entertainer Tony Orlando’s Yellow Ribbon Scholarship has become part of the ABA Foundation’s overall scholarship program. Okay, all together now: “I’ll stay on the bus, forget about us…”  #abastl

Chicago: Dealer Expo – Powersports

Dealer Expo is the largest trade-only expo for the powersports aftermarket industry, and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn seemed to know it when he welcomed delegates to Chicago for the expo that puts power into sports.  There were marketing workshops presented by Dealership University, interactive workshops to show retailers how to identify marketing targets, ways of integrating traditional and digital marketing, and new approaches for online marketing.  Then there were the management workshops presented by The Retail Owners Institute to show dealers, independent retailers, service shops and allied businesses how to efficiently run the numbers, challenge their assumptions and succeed.  Oh, you were after the service workshop?  That one was presented by the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI), the Official Technical School of the Conference.  This full day of intensive training was the annual technical update for service managers and technicians.  Hey, teach, you got anything to help stop me flying over the handlebars when I hit a pothole…?  #DXPO14

Houston: BreakBulk Transportation Conference & Exhibition

BreakBulk Transportation Conference & Exhibition says it’s the largest exhibition & educational forum in the Americas addressing the needs of traditional breakbulk and project cargo logistics professionals.  Nearly 4,000 participants attended BreakBulk Americas, where they could meet with over 330 international exhibitors.  These included specialized ocean carriers, freight forwarders, ports and terminals, logistics providers, ground transportation, heavy air, export packers, equipment companies, and more.  Wait, wait.  Heavy Air?  Say what?  Wouldn’t that be a contradiction in terms?  Okay, let me explain.  “Heavy air” transport, for the uninitiated, refers to aircraft capable of takeoff weights of 300,000 pounds or more. (Aircraft capable of takeoff weights more than 41,000 pounds but less than 300,000 pounds are just considered Large).  Anyway, if you’re an air traffic controller and one of those babies flies in, remember to apply your special wake turbulence separation criteria….  #BBAM14

Moving across the country or around the world?

BTX Global is the leader in worldwide logistics:

Long Beach: Intermodal Expo

Anaheim: APEX – Airline Passenger Experience Association

APEX is the Airline Passenger Experience Association, and this “flight of fancy” was co-hosted with IFSA, the International Flight Services Association, represented more than 120 airlines and 250-odd vendors from in-flight entertainment to catering.  The APEX/IFSA Expo, we heard, is an event exclusive to experts and decision-makers “committed to elevating the level of the airline passenger experience around the world”.  Well, no problem there:  the passenger is “elevated” every time a flight takes off, typically to over 30,000 feet. Beyond that obvious fact, things can get complicated, given the flying public’s ceaseless quest for cheaper tickets and the airlines’ grim determination to keep turning a profit if they can.  These mutually inimical aims have been “resolved” by de-bulking seats and putting them closer together, which has recently created “war-zones” between passengers who recline their seats and passengers who don’t like the seat in front squishing their knees….

Anaheim: Heli-Expo

This was your personal invitation to “engage in the future of vertical flight”.  Heli-Expo was produced by Helicopter Association International, and if this show didn’t get your rotors spinning, nothing could.  19,000 industry professionals from more than 90 countries were there to check out stands manned by 700 leading industry suppliers on the show floor.  There were hands-on demonstrations including 65 helicopters on the show floor, plus 42 other aircraft flown in for exhibition display.  Delegates could attend manufacturer technical briefings, workshops, forums, and other special events, including the HAI Rotor Safety Challenge and 44 other expert-led safety events throughout the show.  Professional development goals could be met by attending HAI’s Professional Education courses in safety, pilot skills, maintenance skills, management skills, and career development.  Choppers away…..