Richard Bartel hopes that a business-to-business trade show he’s putting together for aviation industry suppliers and manufacturers turns into an annual event that draws tens of thousands of people.
Bartel is organizing the Air Capital Aviation Expo through his company, Air Capital Productions. The event is set for Aug. 27 to Aug. 29 at Century II Convention Center.
The trade show aims to connect suppliers and manufacturers nationally and internationally.
“It’s also to connect suppliers with suppliers … (who are) kind of the nuts and bolts of the industry,” Bartel said Monday. “We’re the air capital of the world but we don’t have our own business aviation industry convention.”
The trade show will feature up to 701 booth spaces. Each booth space comes with passes for four people. Individual passes to the show are $100. Companies purchasing six or more booth spaces will be placed in the center of Expo Hall.
“With over 480 aviation companies in Kansas and such a large cluster in Wichita, it made for a perfect environment for all these companies to get together,” he said.
Bartel said he’s not limiting the show to just Kansas companies. He said he’s been contacting companies nationally and internationally by e-mail and, beginning this week, mail to recruit them to attend.
He said he’s already had some e-mail commitments from suppliers and manufacturers that plan to attend.
The trade show will be financed by himself and a silent partner, Bartel said, although he is offering sponsorships.
Bartel said he’s been in the aviation industry for more than 28 years and has worked for suppliers and manufacturers such as Nordam and Boeing.
He developed the idea for the trade show about a year ago, partly from his side business, Bartel Productions, which for the past six years has produced the Park City Chill, an indoor motorcycle, car and semi-truck show at the Kansas Pavilions in Park City.
He said the experience he’s gained from filling up 300,000 square feet of indoor space at the Pavilions, securing sponsors and publicizing the show gives him the confidence to try doing something similar in the aviation industry.
“I think in the end, because of who we are and where we’re located, the event really promotes itself,” Bartel said.
More information is available at www.aircapexpo.com.