Farnborough airshow 2012 report

Life was very busy last week for MAA members and the MAA team at the Farnborough International Airshow. Sixty-nine MAA members exhibited, 27 of them on the biggest-ever MAA stand.

Life was very busy last week for MAA members and the MAA team at the Farnborough International Airshow. Sixty-nine MAA members exhibited, 27 of them on the biggest-ever MAA stand. Business was brisk throughout the show. Several VIPs came to tour the MAA stand including Foreign Secretary William Hague and Business Minister Mark Prisk. And the MAA celebrated the start of its 10th year by cutting a magnificent cake!

Highlights of the show

Show organisers reported that the show as a whole was almost as busy as the record 2010 year in terms of trade visitors.

While no big airline order announcements were made at the show with significant impacts on the Midlands as a whole; winners were Midlands companies with a presence on:

  • Boeing 737 Max aircraft and its CFM engines
  • A350-1000 aircraft and its Trent engines
  • Mitsubishi MRJ aircraft and its Pratt & Whitney engines.

The show was also notable for the strongest government presence and support for the show and the industry for many years -- including from Prime Minister David Cameron.

Highlights of business on the MAA stand

27 companies exhibited on the MAA stand, occupying 28 pods. That made the Midlands regional presence the second largest worldwide at the entire show. An additional 42 MAA members had their own stand. Many other MAA members worked at the show as trade visitors and the MAA team enjoyed catching up with them when they dropped by the MAA stand. 

MAA stand Farnborough 2012 four of 28 podsBusiness meetings at four of the 28 giant pods on the MAA stand

Feedback from exhibitors

Initial reactions from MAA exhibitors included:

  • A thoroughly good show all round -- at least 20 new customer contacts.
  • We exhibit a lot, and this was our best airshow ever in terms of new leads.
  • Our first time exhibiting; what we hadn't anticipated was the sheer number of enquiries from customers that came to seek us out all week.
  • A single important meeting halfway through the show made the whole investment worthwhile.
  • Our position with the MAA in Hall 1 was much better than our previous experience exhibiting independently in Hall 4.
  • Very impressed. The MAA's organisation of the stand was fantastic.
  • Of all the UK regions, the MAA's sheer presence was clearly the best.
  • The MAA team introduced a potential supplier to us that is likely to save us £250,000 in one transaction alone.
  • Through the MAA we were able to present our company far more professionally than we could possibly have done by ourselves. 

MAA stand Farnborough 2012 brisk businessBrisk business on the big MAA stand

MAA directors

Alongside the MAA core team, 12 of the MAA's 16 senior industry directors including chairman Clive Snowdon worked on the stand at one point or another during the week, or came along to talk business with our exhibitors.


VIP visitors to the stand and its exhibitors included:

  • Foreign Secretary William Hague
  • Business Minister Mark Prisk
  • Trade Minister Lord Green
  • Opposition SME spokesman and Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins
  • Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Aerospace and Wolverhampton MP Emma Reynolds
  • Derby MP Chris Williamson
  • South Staffordshire MP Gavin Williamson

Activities on the MAA stand

The MAA organised several networking opportunities on the stand over the course of the week 

MAA stand Farnborough 2012 MAA reception
  • The start of the MAA's 10th year was celebrated by cutting a magnificent birthday cake at a well-attended reception (see left -- MAA chairman Clive Snowdon cuts the cake while MAA chief executive Andrew Mair looks on).
  • The MAA’s SC21 coffee morning proved an excellent networking opportunity.
  • MAA and North West Aerospace Alliance members networked on each others’ stands in a joint reception organised to highlight the two bodies’ growing cooperation.
  • Coventry Premier showcased the Olympic torch which they have been responsible for manufacturing, which drew a constant stream of visitors to the stand.
  • The Italian UK Trade and Investment team spent the week at the show as guests of the MAA, working with Midlands exhibitors to put together plans for a future trade mission to Italy.
  • The MAA presence generated a significant amount of publicity for member companies in regional and national media.


 Click here to see the Midlands Farnborough photo gallery