"It is truly an international show with many of the top people involved in GSE from around the world in attendance," comments Jim McManus, Corporate Sales Manager, Toyota Industrial Equipment. "I found it very refreshing to go to seminars that were presented by the people who actually perform the job function instead of consultants who usually run them.
"I was able to get a great insight into some of the problems the users are facing and was pleased to see that the GSE users really want to partner with suppliers to develop equipment for this industry."
Meanwhile, Adaptive Engineering showed off its second generation Mobilcart, Trelleborg introduced a new range of solid tires, Aerogen highlighted a new ground power generator, Charlatte America demonstrated its latest T135 A/C drive baggage tow tractor, and Par-kan its new regional jet lavatory truck. They were joined by Hobart, Malabar, Nordic Systems, Tesco Hi-Lift and many other companies in offering attendees a first glance at new equipment.
The big question, of course, is whether the show delivered sales leads for exhibitors. The answer is a resounding "Yes!" from Endre Pataky at Adaptive Engineering. The company surpassed itself with some outstanding sales finalized with several regional airlines at the show including: eight AXR wheel chair lifts, 36 AX20 boarding bridge adaptors, and 156 baggage carts.
Pataky told GSE Today that the total Expo orders represent a value of C$ 1.5million (US$ 980,000).
In the seminar rooms, the majority of workshops were well attended with standing room only. Futurist and consultant to Fortune 500 companies Dr Lowell Catlett was at his rabble rousing best, and entertained an audience of 200 with his paper exploring "How to be Rich and Famous even if you are in the Ground Support Industry.
Catlett assured the audience that if they really wanted to do something and make a contribution, it was an easy process of learning their ABC.
A is for affluence. "There's an affluence out there that's blowing us away," he said. A staggering amount of money is available to those who provide a good service. Letter B stands for brand names, trademarks and reputation. People have a lot of decisions to make. They seek familiarity, consistency and convenience.
C is for convenience. "It's a busy world, so anything you do for me, or make convenient for me--you own me," says Dr. Catlett. Just bear in mind that what's convenient to one group, might not be to another.
High profile speakers from Continental, American Airlines, United, Delta, KLM Cargo, UPS, Southwest Airlines, Swissport, and many others also provided valuable insight to attendees on subjects as varied as cargo handling to cost of operations, and resource management to safety on the ramp.
Some of the underlying themes of the show were clear. Concerned with meeting environmental regulations around the world, industry buyers are re-evaluating fuel usage on the ramp, and exploring electrification of vehicles. Standardization of equipment is another priority with the airlines, as is the need to have open and honest communication between customer and vendor. Relationships are everything.
Interestingly, some attendees felt that the scope of the show could even be broadened slightly. "The one place where I feel that the show lacked was representation by baggage and cargo conveyor systems," comments Tim Wix at Delta. " I plan for these systems and would be interested to see what the different suppliers have to offer."
Others pined for longer hours, and even an extra day. Already, much of the space for next year has been bought up, so hurry if you are still undecided.
The GSE Today editorial team spent much of the show gauging opinion, talking with key players, and analysing some of the primary issues faced today by the international ground support community. The following articles in this Expo report come from a show that exceeded all expectations, and serve to highlight the kind of industry depth and know-how that has become a feature of GSE Expo in Las Vegas.
Box story one
The Romance of GSE Expo
This year’s Expo was the site of both a wedding and a honeymoon, writes George Prill.
The fortunate groom was Don Bundick, part of the TLD team. He and the beautiful Dee Miller were wed in the "A Special Memory Wedding Chapel" in Las Vegas on the Monday before the Expo.