EBACE has evolved into a two-class affair; its second-class citizens have noticed and some aren’t happy about their status.
When the show began eleven years ago, it was a modest affair and the exhibits didn’t fill Hall 7, the Palexpo edifice immediately adjacent to static ramp at Geneva International Airport.
As the convention grew in popularity and number and size of the exhibits grew as well, until Hall 7 was full up. At that point, show spilled into Hall 6, which is at right angle to the original and separated from it by an escalator, a set of stairs, and then a hike across a wide paved area. This year both Hall 7 and 6 were full up, and exhibits reached into Hall 5, which is attached to 6.
Now the exhibits in Hall 7 are fewer than years ago, but much, much larger and more lavish, some of them two stories high, and complete with dining halls, conference room, private lounges and bars – TAG’s new “chalet” even has art by Calder, Picasso and others on display.
These exclusive temples of commerce bear the logos of business aviation bluebloods including Dassault Falcon Jet, Gulfstream, Jet Aviation, NetJets, Bombardier, Airbus, Cessna, HondaJet and such. Those people entering through the show’s main door must walk the long, wide carpet that separates these chalets.
Meanwhile, up in Hall 6, the scene is quite different. The space is chock-a-block with smaller exhibits – most of them quite inviting, but none nearly as grandiose as those in Hall 7. Moreover, there are no big “anchor” exhibitors equal to those in the downstairs hall, either.
As a consequence, some of the Hall 6’s populace insists, the foot traffic past their displays is not nearly as heavy as down in Hall 7. Taking into account the considerable investment each of those booths represents, they’re quite annoyed about the disparity.
I suspect the show organizers will be hearing those complaints, and possibly already have. What they might do about them is anybody’s guess.