Barnstorming to Business

The excitement of air shows has not changed ... and that is perhaps the only thing that has not changed with air shows in the past 25 years. For more than 100 years, air shows have been among North America’s largest spectator events. In times past...


  • 23 percent have household incomes in excess of $100,000;
  • 63.6 percent have some college or are college graduates;
  • women make up 40 percent of the spectator base;
  • 50 percent of spectators are between 30 to 50 years of age; and
  • people will travel more than 100 miles to attend a show.

Military jet teams and military static displays remain the big draws, but shows need to have civilian performers, Warbirds on static display, kid zones, food and beverages, souvenirs, and other specialty vendors.

With more than 350 air shows each year in North America, scheduling and selling the sizzle requires marketing skills and professional leadership, but the late day debriefing with those cold adult beverages is still an important part of the process.

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