Although I can fully understand all of the negative comments - really only day one worked in a broad sense - there were many plus attributes about the event that should perhaps be highlighted.
The event was not a complete waste of time for everyone I met. I know of two exhibitors that appear to have [surprised even themselves] with the level of customer interest and even sales talk [each subject to confirmation by signature on the dotted line].
Why? Well reading between the lines on both of them there have been other show cancellations across the planet due to the recession and it is clear that these customers came to the product because it was not locally available.
As I have business in Spain next year it suited me to find all the Iberian 'targets' in the same place. For me that aspect worked and moving the event to anywhere outside Spain and Portugal would not serve anybody. It may be Helitech Europe but it is also one of the few venues in that part of the Europe. There are lots of similar events in France and Germany.
The handful of helicopters - most of which were there last time, less a few - were a great disapointment and must surely either indicate the recession we all know is there or a wish not to pander to spotters - or maybe both. The majority were based at Cascais/Tirez and simply pushed out of the hangar. last time it was later and the fire season was over so there were more options including the plank wing fire stuff complementing that tired old Short 360 airliner.
I would be the first to criticise the air display bit. The only change from last year seems to have been that the water drops missed dousing the fire fighters on the ground and this year the ground based fire trucks did not have to rescue a situation where the demonstrating water bomber clearly failed to control the controlled fire by putting it out!
The poorly attended conference reflected the weather and a realisation that the tale that the Portuguese do not do rain is not far off the mark.
Mostly magazines is a bit far off the mark thanks to Ned's absence! But yes there were a few too many as a ratio to the real traders but that is fairly common with most events [in the recession?]
I am not sure why the small exhibitors are singled out for talking to each other through a lack of customers. Shows are about that very thing and if anything rescued the event it was that. All events are about Networking, talking turkey and hopefully picking up customers from a new part of the world where there are few other options.
That happened quite widely.