The numbers tell the tale and preliminary figures indicate the National Business Aviation Association’s 2014 Convention & Exhibition was a very successful event. NBAA’s annual showcase, held October 21-23 in Orlando, Florida, attracted some 26,000 attendees from around the world who visited some 1,100 vendor exhibits at the Orange County Convention Center and saw more than 100 aircraft at a sold-out static display at the Orlando Executive Airport.
This year’s convention also continued the NBAA tradition of featuring a busy slate of informative educational sessions and product demonstrations, new order announcements, discussions regarding the current and future needs of the industry, and thoughtful presentations by distinguished representatives from industry and government.
Aerlex Law Group President Stephen Hofer was one of the speakers at this year’s NBAA convention and participated in two different programs focusing on Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”). Hofer initially joined Deborah Bew Liu, president of Aircraft Acquisitions, Inc., and Greg Panzarella, a pilot and former flight department director of operations, as speakers at the annual Tax, Regulatory and Risk Management Conference that precedes the main convention. The trio presented a program entitled “Evaluate Your Planning Through Enterprise Risk Assessment” to nearly 300 Tax Conference attendees.
The following day, Hofer participated in an interactive program during the convention itself on “Enterprise Risk Management: Integrating Business Aviation” that was intended to help aircraft operators look beyond Emergency Response Planning (“ERP”) and Safety Management Systems (“SMS”) and understand the broader opportunity ERM provides for assessing risk across a broad spectrum of business activities. More than 100 participants were asked to analyze and assess the short- and long-term implications of two different hypothetical risk scenarios, the first involving a collision that resulted in damage to multiple aircraft parked in a hangar and the second, a proposed whole aircraft purchase.
Describing his NBAA presentations, Hofer said, “When utilized properly, ERM can be an extremely valuable tool for all types of businesses, including those in aviation. The trick is to first recognize the role that risk plays in virtually everything an organization does and then to devise strategies for managing those risks proactively, not just as a way to minimize exposure to liability, but also as a tool for seizing challenges in business and using them to build competitive advantage.”
In addition to his speaking engagements, Hofer also participated in the annual meeting of the NBAA Tax Committee and represented the NBAA Regulatory Issues Advisory Group at the Careers in Business Aviation General Session. “I was involved in NBAA activities during every day of the convention,” Hofer said. “All of the preparations, presentations and event scheduling limited my opportunities to see the show itself, but it was still rewarding to be able to support NBAA in a variety of different venues.”
In addition to Hofer, Aerlex was also represented by Senior Transactional Counsel Amanda Applegate. The twosome attended numerous programs and social events, spoke with a large number of clients, renewed acquaintances with hundreds of long-time colleagues in the corporate and business aviation community and made many new friends.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the NBAA convention is one of the largest shows held at the Orange County Convention Center, with an economic impact on the city of more than $53 million.
The 2015 NBAA Convention will be in Las Vegas, Nevada next November 17 through 19.