AERO Friedrichshafen 2023 / AVIATION TRENDS FOR THE NEXT YEAR / Tobias Bretzel
Jet.Paris PodcastOctober 01, 202200:26:3360.79 MB

AERO Friedrichshafen 2023 / AVIATION TRENDS FOR THE NEXT YEAR / Tobias Bretzel

Interview with Show Director of the AERO Friedrichshafen Tobias Bretzel. About trends for the next year in aviation industry. AERO Friedrichshafen 2023 19 – 23 April, 2023

Tobias: This was actually also really fantastic of electric aviation, not just a dream, but flying...

Vitaly: Yeah

Tobias: So, you will hear more from us in the upcoming weeks or months so our technicians they are so well organized and experienced, so they know how, to handle the aircraft and how to fit them in through the doors.

Vitaly: Tell us about your development plans.

Tobias: First, of all getting young people enthusiastic about aviation, getting them into aviation.


Vitaly: Okay, today we are at Farnborough Airshow, and it is always nice to meet people, whom you met on the previous occasions and that is a good opportunity.

Tobias: Yeah

Vitaly: So, today we would speak about and discuss our experience of Friedrichshafen Aero. I should say that especially this year this is my most favorite aviation show. I have been on all shows all around the world, but i think, Friedrichshafen Aero is uh this year our first after COVID year was really the best.

Tobias:  Yes.

Vitaly: So, can you just present yourself tell about whom you are where you are where you born and what are you doing, by the way.

Tobias: Yes, so thank you for the opportunity to speak here. My name is Tobias Bretzel. I am the show director of Aero Friedrichshafen I come from Philisophen, so I know the region. I know the venue very well and yeah, also for us, this year was not the biggest, but the most important and, for sure, one of the most successful editions we had.

Vitaly: And how you have a bigger or not bigger so by name number of tickets sold or...

Tobias: In terms of uh the exhibitor numbers and in terms of visitor numbers, it was a little bit behind the record edition of 2019, so pre-pandemic, but just a couple of exhibitors less and also a couple of visitors less but at the end the quality was fantastic, I have to say.

Vitaly: Oh, yeah, sure, and uh you are responsible just for uh aviation part, because i understand, that Friedrichshafen it is a huge exhibition facility.

Tobias: Yeah

Vitaly:  And it is uh like bicycles, boats and so on, but you are doing just aviation.

Tobias: Exactly, yes, so we have uh more than 20 uh events, taking place at our venue across the year: guest events, own events, small events, and big events. Friedrichshafen is for sure, one of the biggest we have at the venue. We cover the entire venue, 12 halls, the static display, all of that. But we have all sorts of different events you mentioned: the boat show, another one is a plastic show. We have a lot of leisure topics, related in the events. And I’m personally with my team responsible for the aviation sector.

Vitaly: And aviation - it is not only Friedrichshafen, so you do quite a lot of different events globally. Yes?

Tobias: Well yes, so um so our company we have just founded a new company - a joint venture between massive Friedrichshafen and massive Francfurt and it has called Fernamic. So it's a joint venture between these two trade show organizers, which combines the aviation sector, with mainly arrow Friedrichshafen. And our mobility and bicycle sector with eurobike, which is the biggest uh bicycle trade show in the world, and that just actually finished yesterday.

Vitaly: Fantastic job.

Tobias: Yeah, yeah, fantastic job that the team has done there. Big topic super successful and yes. So, Aero Friedrichshafen coming back to the aviation segment - is our, let's call, it the mothership, the main events. And but we also do... and that also just recently happened Aero South Africa - this is organized by our friends and colleagues from Mesa Frankfurt South Africa and we support them strategically, but also....

Vitaly:  Because everybody knows AERO Friedrichshafen…

Tobias: Yes, yes, yes, exactly.

Vitaly: And tell us, how it works.

Tobias: This was actually also really fantastic of course it was much more compact, than AERO Friedrichshafen. This year they had roundabout I think 73 exhibitors, more than 3 000 visitors, if I remember correctly. But it was on a different scale, but as important as AERO Friedrichshafen for the south African markets.  Because they have no dedicated trade show or had no dedicated trade show for general aviation rotorcraft, business aviation, and this all happened recently at the arrow. And it was just the second event, the first was in 2019, so it's still a young event, which will grow over the next.

Vitaly:  And okay. South Africa, anything in China.

Tobias: Well, we are still looking into China and the asian market, so we have a partnership there and a show called Aeroasia. But, of course, now we have to look, how this will shake, but it's still planned for November 2023 in Shanghai.

Vitaly:  It would be your first Chinese show.

Tobias: Yes, yeah.

Vitaly:  Any other plans, like Singapore or United States?

Tobias: Uh, no, not at the moment, but we are...

Vitaly:  But we are… Latin America?

Tobias: Yeah, we are monitoring you know the different markets very closely, the different events, which happened there and especially also with our partner, massive Frankfurt. Let us see, what options we may have in the future.

Vitaly:  Indeed, they should have some...

Tobias: Well, they have they have offices worldwide, yeah, which can support us there, but of course, the aviation trade show market on a global scale is very saturated, already so you need to come up with a really good concept and a market, which makes sense, but...

Vitaly:  AERO Friedrichshafen is a very good concept. I think, I should say, that especially for the smaller aviation for up to maybe very light jets, I think uh you are covering everything.

Tobias: Yes

Vitaly:  Really, widely represented.

Tobias: Yeah, that's also our intention, so we are one part B2B we are one part B2C, the private pilots, of course, and we want to cover really the entire range of the general aviation which includes, you know also drones but also the business aviation sid, you mentioned the light jets. I think, we have quite a good option to also get a little bit bigger in the medium-sized business jets segment, because the quality of people is there. We just need to grow that.

Vitaly:  Yeah, and what we just discussed with you, so what, as a visitors, we want AERO Friedrichshafen a bit develop towards more b2b communication, maybe, like some gathering, maybe, some extra content like, maybe, some presentations or whatever, so how you see the development.

Tobias: I think so, what i always, like is that, so we have a broad spectrum of topics, happening during the four days. However, we are always looking into options we could have to fit dedicated topics or side events. Right before arrow or during arrow we have to see, that it needs to make sense, but i absolutely agree that we need to have um also focusing a little bit more on the on the b2b visitors. Topic getting more international visitors um throughout the four days, and also increasing our footprint wizard advice for the business aviation segment.

Vitaly: Yeah, it is indeed, flying to Friedrichshafen is not that easy.

Tobias: Well yes. That is actually also what we are currently working - on the procedures to fly in but also depart. It needs to be a little bit smoother, than it was this year. But what we also need to encourage or need to focus on, is that, we you know, we have a lot of different smaller airfields around Friedrichshafen. Actually, and as the show grows and the intention to come by plane to arrow, we have a certain amount of slots, available each year for Friedrichshafen. But there are other airfields, around which we need, to let's say, get a little bit more closer to us in terms of shuttles.

Vitaly: Yeah

Tobias: So, that is really.

Vitaly:  Yeah, yeah, traffic is difficult.

Tobias: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Vitaly:  Friedrichshafen is not prepared for...

Tobias: Well, it is not a major capital, for sure, but I think, that's not a big issue for our industry. Because we are used to, you know, go to places, i mean, Oshkosh is also not New York, right so I’m gonna be there in the upcoming days. Everyone's coming into that as well right, so people find their way, if the concept of the show is right and the value is there.

Vitaly: And would you have your standard Nash Kash, or what is the purpose of the visit?

Tobias: Well, this year my or the purpose of our team - is especially to actually show ourselves. We had a stand in the past, but since a couple of years we walk the show, we meet existing exhibitors, which, of course, you know, exhibit there as well. We look for new companies, and this year I think, it is an important step. Because we have not been there for the last couple of years due to COVID, we could not be there last year, which was a shame. So we want to really showcase ourselves in front of the American market that we you know, they are so important to us. So they should see, that we value that and travel all the way there and market our events.

Vitaly: But all American aircraft producers are already in Friedrichshafen Aero.

Tobias: Yes.

Vitaly: That was really well represented.

Tobias: Yes, absolutely, they really you know, they see the value and the importance of our show. But I think, there are quite a few you know smaller suppliers, and so on which we tackle there as well.

Vitaly: Yeah, and that what I like that in Friedrichshafen if you compare for example with EBACE.

Tobias: Yeah

Vitaly: It is so well organized, so you may have uh aircrafts in hangar, and it is more, it is much easier to be there.

Tobias: Yeah, yeah. Well, it's a unique setup really, which we have in terms of our infrastructure right. We have a pretty modern venue in general, yeah, very light, very open, very modern, which is close to the to the local airport, so we tow the aircraft in over to the static. But as we have a lot of wide hangar doors and our jets at our halls, we can really easily tow them in. And i have to say also our technicians, yeah, um which work in our technical department. They are so well organized and experienced, so they know, how to handle the aircraft and how to fit them in through the doors.

Vitaly: And it is so convenient. And you have aircrafts inside, and you can just see, aircraft speak to the people, because what in the in the e-base sometimes you don't even want to go to the static. Because you know, you have a control you have, a long line of waiting, and buses and so on. So it's unpractical, and at the show you try to save every minute, you know.

Tobias: That is right, yeah, it is a different setup given also by the infrastructure, which we are really happy to have there.

Vitaly: Okay, but tell us about your development plans. Where... I mean, it is, so well developed already. So, which directions, which targets do you have which performance indicators you have?

Tobias: Well, I we would like in the future to grow get strong in the international audience, both in terms of numbers, but also in terms of quality, that's, for sure, very important for us. We are Europe's really number one and leading show, but we can always grow there, then I think, it is also important to tackle the supply chain topic. I think there is a lot going on because of COVID restrictions.


Vitaly:  And the problem, that they produce us. They do not really meet the spare parts uh producers.

Tobias: Yeah. So, we might come up with something, dedicated to supply chain. We also want to grow and expand our sustainable aviation topic. Yeah, so we have had a fantastic e-flight expo in hall A7, but we see that growing actually out of that hall into the entire exhibition. So that's why we did for the first time the aero sustainable aviation trail, and we're gonna do that next year, as well to really showcase, where and how many companies are involved into sustainable aviation. Another important topic, we want to tackle actually, is all the, you know, lack of talents in the industry. So career opportunities having a certain, yeah, step-by-step approach there first of all getting young people, in enthusiastic about aviation getting them into aviation. Yeah, that is the first step. Then you know schoolchildren, who want to look into a career, getting educated, getting a job into aviation, or, you know, be getting a trainee or studying this. Then the next level - is people, who are close to finish some, you know, university degrees, that they get a job, that they get a right job in certain areas. And I think, that's a big topic the lack of talents, which our everyone is facing in all industries, but also we, as aero, we want to help our industry.

Vitaly: And I understand, you do not have really many flight academies.

Tobias: Oh, well we have a couple of them in our be a pilot section, yeah, so there are uh flight schools, flight academies, can showcase themselves, to win. You know, because they are at the same time the buyers for the smaller aircraft.

Vitaly: Yes, yes and…

Tobias: And youngsters. So it's the ideal setup actually, but the lack of pilots - is also another topic, which we want to tackle. What else well we always want - to increase on our business aviation site as I mentioned.

Vitaly: And then, probably, fbos...

Tobias: Absolutely, yeah, I think.

Vitaly: I have not seen any fbos this year.

Tobias: Yeah, I would have to think a little, bit to mention one, but indeed, so the footprint could be stronger at our event, as well and also the educational side of topic. So also related to the business aviation, side we had a business aviation conference. I think, we can grow that make it, maybe, a little bit more compact in certain topics.

Vitaly: Problem that, I have not even noticed, that you had a conference.

Tobias: Yeah, see, that is a lot of that's also an a topic. So we have such, you know, four days and such a broad variety of sub topics, different aircraft, different brands and so on and different conferences. So, people need to know faster, where they get the relevant content, they want to study product-wise, conference-wise, yeah, everything. So we had this year two over 270 conference topics.

Vitaly: Probably, has not been really sufficiently promoted.

Tobias: Yeah, well it needs to be promoted earlier and in the right channels.

Vitaly: Absolutely. Yes, yes, yes.

Tobias: What I also think this year, maybe, that is different next year. This year people were really keen and not just having a conference, but seeing, people face to face speaking, like we do. But also, you know, touching the aircraft, touching the products - that's, I think, something very special about this year's edition.

Vitaly: And what is what I seen, but i was not able to do it myself, I seen, that some companies they were somehow allowed to do testing. Like testing, they were showing, how equipment works. So it was like an internal whole, whatever internal areas. That is really interesting, and if you do it like with the some schedule, that would be really productive. Because they show, like how equipment works especially, it's for top management people that yeah that makes sense.

Tobias: Yeah, well there are a lot of things, that come up to my mind. We have a headset test area, so testing headsets was at the Bose stand, but also at a lot of others, also seminars, like Garmin seminar rooms or also in the flight simulator, area where you could really test the flight simulation, stuff out. So these are really the good things. And coming to a kind of a hands-on topic, what we want to do next year right up front the main event, which happens next year from the 19th to the 22nd, is the so-called e-flight rally, which we want to do in the days before the event starts, to really finally showcase, that electric aviation is not just displaced.

Vitaly: Not just, not just a dream.

Tobias: Not just a dream, but flying.

Vitaly: Yeah, yeah.

Tobias: So, you will hear more from us in the upcoming uh weeks or months. But we are working on a concept, to make that happen, yeah.

Vitaly: And you see I have been Friedrichshafen Aero for three days, yeah, I thought that it is more than enough.

Tobias: Yeah

Vitaly: Then, finally, I understood, that it was not so, I had to stay extra one day.

Tobias: Really?

Vitaly: And in fact, this year, yeah, coming here, I am planning, maybe, to come back. And you are telling that absolutely rightly, that, maybe, come one or two days before. So then I understood, that some companies they were doing some uh test flights or just uh kind of equipment tours and so on, so something. So I understand, that this is possible to do and some additional timing is required.

Tobias: Absolutely, and i think, we because of the sheer size of the event and the topics that there, is a need also to structure things a little bit differently, than in the past. We also need to work on our you know media day, which we have in advance next year on the 18th, because there are so many different topics, and it needs to be balanced, out so that people know, faster where they get, what where they see, what so they make the best out of their state.

Vitaly: Yes, yes. No, I mean, what we as, visitors, want and what i hear from you now. So we have not been really consumed you sufficiently. I mean, you produced good products, but we have not even known, what like a conferences and so on.

Tobias: I mean one thing, that always helps, and we will for sure do this next year as well - is our show app, which helps you to structure your visit better yeah, and we will...

Vitaly: You do not have it yet. I we had it, yeah.

Tobias: We had it also this year... in the next years, maybe.

Vitaly: Yes

Tobias: Yeah, yeah, so and it actually worked pretty well, yeah, we we're gonna improve it next year further on, but that really gives you know, that the possibility to highlight certain exhibits, just to make your individualize your trip via the app make notes and so on, yeah, yeah.

Vitaly: That's very valuable, yeah, and i agree, maybe, you can, I just seen it in ILA-show, they were doing like for those, who interested kind of guided tours on different subjects they were just showing, for example, this is a producer of whatever navigation equipment. So you can just go all around and see all this navigation stuff or flight academies. So you can, because in most of cases, they are located in different parts, and you are not able to really trace.

Tobias: No, we, it's at the end everyone decides, where they want to stay and, I mean, we try to group topics already like avionics avenue engine area maintenance.

Vitaly: But then you have sometimes, national corners or like partnership arrangements, and yeah, you know, sometimes even smallest company, having the most interest for the visitors. So but you simply cannot find it, so that is...

Tobias: Yeah. So yeah, probably, something to look into for next year as well.

Vitaly: Yeah, I am really looking forward to Aero 2023, because, I think, from the point of view of efficiency, not just, you know, not to consider like one more show.

Tobias: Yeah, yeah.

Vitaly: But from the point of your fish of efficiency, Friedrichshafen Aero for me of great importance, so, I met quite a number of new partners, new friends. I came to know, some like new innovations, and in fact something was not really for me, but I already shared with some aircraft producers, because they were interested to hear some my suggestion and...

Tobias: So that is also a great a great, I would say, usp of our show that it, has always been a mirror of the industry, and that means, it has always been innovation driven. Yeah, we have had so many innovations, on display at our events in the past. Not all the manufacturers of these innovations have been market them in advance enough, but it is always sometimes a little, you can find that good or bad. But its a little surprise box, what you see at arrow. Because some things uh some exhibitors get ready last minute before the show, and then they say, oh, it is finished, I can present it. Then there is no real marketing in advance, and also because, some of them are small companies, they don't have 10 persons, working in marketing and PR. But you discover a lot of innovations, and a lot of these innovations, you will probably see in the future in the commercial aviation. So, that's important, thing so, if some people say, oh, that's the little part of aviation, well that's the innovative part of aviation, where technologies are tested for. I mean, probably, what you see here... yeah, yeah, winglets - are an example. For example, yeah, let us say also electric aviation with pipistrelle and all the others.

Vitaly: Yeah. No, I agree, and "The Diamond" presented the new electrical aero.

Tobias: Yes, yes, yes. "Technum" is also very innovative on that as well.

Vitaly: But indeed, it would be really interesting, if you manage somehow to organize business aviation part.

Tobias: Yea.

Vitaly: To give us extra opportunity to meet or to just at least to change cards with people, because it is really big, and you cannot really find or meet all people.

Tobias: Yes

Vitaly: And they are in different places, I mean, if you do something more devoted to business availability, just place to meet, yeah, maybe, you can just promote like it's for example one day, because then more people would come. It would be easy for some people to come at least just for one day.

Tobias: Yeah, that is right.

Vitaly: Maybe, to do it like this, but I am really looking forward to that.

Tobias: Yeah, we as well looking forward to see you there later then.

Vitaly: Yeah, sure, thank you very much.

Tobias:  Thank you for the opportunity.

Vitaly:  Thank you, it was really pleasure.

Tobias:  Great, yeah, enjoy the rest of the show here.

Vitaly:  Thank you, I am happy that we finally met.

Tobias:  Yes.

Vitaly:  Been the friends in LinkedIn for a while.

Tobias:  That is the advantage of trade shows.

Vitaly:  Thank you very much.

Tobias:  Thank you.


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