|October 26th, 2020|
By John Cudahy, ICAS President
I’ve been on the phone much more than normal during the last six weeks…talking with members about the marginally encouraging end to the 2020 season, the prospects for continuing adjustments and improvement in 2021, and our plans for the 2020 Virtual ICAS Convention.
I’d like to say that all of those conversations have left me quite sure that we’ll see a full and complete rebound in 2021. I can’t. Nobody can, really. By far, the single most common question I get when I talk to members – including three different members just today – is, “What do you think next year is going to be like?” With so many variables beyond our control, there is no definitive answer to that question.
But what I can say with a high degree of confidence is that – from an air show perspective – 2021 will be better than 2020. In fact, I would go so far as to say it will be significantly better.
From Kennewick, Washington to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and from Houston, Texas to London, Ontario, ICAS members have demonstrated that there are multiple ways to address the challenges of conducting an air show in a pandemic or post-pandemic environment. They’ve done some of the trial-and-error learning necessary to hold their events and they have given all of us multiple options for planning and conducting shows in 2021. The military performers and some civilians have demonstrated that there are ways to move ahead with our events despite the public health situation. Some of our members have told us that they will retain some of the adjustments they were forced to make in 2020 because they believe that they will make their events stronger in 2021 and beyond. And almost all of the event organizers are reporting that their spectators are wildly enthusiastic about attending the shows and very tolerant of the safeguards and new protocols that the shows have implemented to remain compliant with public health directives.
Whether you hold your event in 2021, you’ve already postponed it until 2022 or you have not yet made a decision, the 2020 Virtual ICAS Convention has been developed to provide you with the tools you need to move forward.
This is not the time to take a year off. It would be a mistake to remove yourself from the important conversations that will occur during our virtual convention in early December. Whatever your expectations for your air show business in 2021, we have developed a program that you will want to be involved with…whether you’re a newbie or veteran.