This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all aviation trade shows have unfortunately been cancelled or postponed. This is both logical and understandable as times have changed. However, these cancellations and postponements have a tremendous impact on all those that typically attend. To mitigate the impact, Halldale Group recently announced that both APATS 2020 and WATS 2020 have been reinstated as online events. According to the Halldale website, the APATS virtual conference will take place the same week of September 7th as originally planned and the WATS virtual conference will be held December 8th through the 10th:
“WATS 2020 will now be a Virtual Conference and Exhibition and is scheduled for the 8-10th December, at the same time as we launch the main delegate promotion campaign for WATS 2021, which will take place as planned 20-22 April of next year.
APATS 2020 is postponed until 2021 and a Virtual Conference will take its place for the week of 7th September this year, the original 2020 dates. This will be timed for our regional attendees and will cover a scene setting ‘Keynote Session’ followed by sessions on pilot, cabin and maintenance.
These will be optimized to focus on the key issues faced by each sub-group at that time and into the immediate future, and will be optimized for a virtual audience and will have a pre-recorded 40-45 minute sessions followed by a live moderated Q&A for a total 60 minute presentation.
EATS 2020 will go ahead as planned for 27-28th October in Oslo, Norway and will include virtual, partial coverage of the conference to ensure the maximum access within the region and for those who may wish to attend but may still be under travel restrictions.”
Organizations like Halldale are be able to create these shows at a large scale and MPS completely and fully supports working together with them or any other party to bring the regulators, training providers, airlines and training device manufacturers together again.
For me personally, presenting at and attending a trade show fills me with a lot of stimulating ideas. Not only are the presentations extremely interesting and informative, conversations with individuals also inspire great innovation and collaboration. These events give everyone in the industry a chance to find solutions to new (and old) problems while gaining valuable insight from those just as passionate. Without bringing these people and ideas together, the aviation world misses out on the chance to creatively work in partnership to achieve a common goal. Especially now, new ideas are needed more than ever to cope with the upcoming demand for more and different training after the COVID pandemic seizes its hold on aviation.
Moving to an online format allows us all to congregate in a safe way to discuss the next steps to ensure aviation training remains safe, effective and efficient without the burden that has impacted us all so deeply over the past couple of months. Although I am looking forward to the days where we can meet in person once again, I strongly believe that virtual conferences will be beneficial for our industry now and beyond this crisis.
How do you feel about in-person events such as these critical trade shows moving to an online format?