The History of Aviation Industry Expo Then and Now!

Many readers might remember the birth of GSE Today Magazine and the GSE Expo. Jennifer and George Prill created the magazine in 1993 and the GSExpo in 1998 in response to the needs of the ground support industry. Many leaders in the industry had expressed feeling “lost” among the Inter-Airport crowd and were looking for a niche in their own community. After the GSExpo was born the members of the ground support community had a place to gather on an annual basis. Communication within the community was, and is, the key to the success of both the magazine and the EXPO.

AS3 was also born in 1998 through a cooperative partnership with National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and Professional Aviation Maintenance Association (PAMA). AS3’s purpose is to address the needs of the FBO community, NATA’s primary membership base.

Both GSE Today magazine and GSE Expo were successful from the start. AS3 grew to be somewhat successful in its own world. Some exhibitors had core audiences in both shows.

Cygnus acquired GSE Expo in 2001, but asked the Prills to manage it that year. Then Sept. 11 shocked the world. People stopped flying and the airlines were in turmoil. Every event organizer in the country was faced with the challenge of keeping their business afloat. But the GSE community rallied and with a strong attendance from the military and a stirring presentation by Col. Oliver North. The exhibitors and the attendees at the October 2001 GSExpo showed the spirit that makes our industry great.

In August of 2002, Cygnus acquired the AS3 show and began to manage production of the event. The 2002 GSExpo was fully produced by Cygnus, and it continued to be a success.

Then came marriage. In May 2003, GS3 and AS3 became one show. The co-location concept, Aviation Industry Expo, was developed by a former Cygnus magazine publisher who saw the AS3 expo as an excellent addition to the already successful GSExpo. His concept was that by adding AS3 Expo to the already successful GSExpo, exhibitors from both shows would benefit. Not only would this union allow them to exhibit in one show versus two, it would allow for cross-over customers.

On the attendee front, the co-location would become a one-stop shopping trip for many.

Many former GSE exhibitors found themselves wondering how this could possibly be a good fit and wondering how their company would ever benefit from this union. However, most exhibitors returned and many reported, “We saw people we’ve never seen before at the GSExpo.” Turns out AS3 and GSE really do make a great team.

The concept is a success!

The Aviation Industry Expo fills a unique niche among aviation shows. The show continues to grow with exhibitors and attendees agreeing that that they should be in Dallas on March 18.

Don’t miss it. Your competitors will be there.

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