Interview with AIRTEC organizer Diana SchnabelB2B meetings at AIRTEC are the “best in class”

In the run-up to AIRTEC 2015, FLUG REVUE spoke to organizer Diana Schnabel on the strong point of the show and the reasons to move to Munich.

AIRTEC Diana Schnabel

Diana Schnabel ist seit Jahren die treibende Kraft hinter der AIRTEC (Foto: AIRTEC).  


FLUG REVUE: In your view how is AIRTEC positioned, bearing in mind that the industry also has a number of major shows and small specialist exhibitions in Europe?

Diana Schnabel:
What is unique about AIRTEC is the interplay between its three pillars, namely, the international trade show, the B2B meetings and the international specialist congress with more than 230 papers to be presented. As far as we know, this interplay and the strict focus on the topic of B2B in the aerospace supply chain is unique and without direct competition. The heart of AIRTEC is the B2B meetings, which at AIRTEC are agreed weeks in advance via an online platform. Thanks to the early transparency and the low no-show rate of less than 5 percent, we constantly hear that the B2B meetings at AIRTEC are the “best in class”. At the same time we hope to attain the next milestone of 15,000 B2B meetings at the upcoming AIRTEC. This illustrates how well that feature is received. And of course the international character which is so much a feature these days is most gratifying: this year we expect participating companies from 45 different countries.

FLUG REVUE: How has AIRTEC developed over the last ten years?

Diana Schnabel:
AIRTEC has a varied history. It was originally conceived as purely a trade show and the B2B meetings were only added six years ago. Whereas a classic trade show depends on visitors walking by, at AIRTEC the matchmaking takes place weeks in advance of the event in an online platform, which is structured and indexed by keywords. Both sides know in advance whom they will be meeting and whether the meeting makes sense. Either party can decline a meeting. As a result, participation is attractive both for exhibitors and for buyers, technical personnel and leading technology managers. The meetings are stacked up as on a string of pearls.

When it comes to subject matter, AIRTEC is constantly evolving: so in aeronautics there is the R&D Summit and the Supply Chain/Procurement Summit with speakers from OEMs and primes. The aim of these summits is to provide a picture of what is relevant today and tomorrow for the entire industry. These summits have never been as extensive as they will be this year.

One significant development has taken place in the area of space: here AIRTEC’s SPACE World has focused since last year on commercial space. The background to this is that we are currently experiencing a breakthrough into commercial spaceflight, which is bringing about the situation that a variety of tasks will be taken over by private enterprises within the framework of a competitive environment. This fits perfectly into AIRTEC with its B2B orientation.

FLUG REVUE: What advantages will the change of venue from Frankfurt to Munich bring?

Diana Schnabel:
Bavaria is one of the five most important aerospace locations in the world. The government of the state of Bavaria presented its aerospace strategy 2030 in the spring and views this industry and its global positioning as strategic. AIRTEC fits in here perfectly. We are therefore also greatly looking forward to having the deputy Minister President of Bavaria and the Bavarian Minister for Economic Affairs, Ilse Aigner, officially open AIRTEC on 3 November.

FLUG REVUE: What will be the main focus of this year’s event?

Diana Schnabel:
In the aeronautics area one core topic will be the question of how the supply chain will change in the future and what requirements will be imposed on suppliers to ensure that they fully fulfil the needs of the OEMs and first tiers. In space, it will be the bridge between terrestrial technologies and space technologies. Thus, for example, how can conventional industry benefit from space and conversely how can space technologies find their way into our lives on earth. In the field of unmanned air vehicles, the emphasis will be on directly relevant applications, primarily civil. Thus, for example, the DLRG will be organising a rescue exercise.

One special highlight this year will be a whole day devoted to the subject of Additive Manufacturing/3D Printing in Aerospace   supplemented in part with parallel presentations on all aspects of this topic. This will be organised by Wohlers Associates Inc. of Colorado (USA), and thus based on what is probably the greatest in-depth knowledge of the 3D printing sector.

This story was first published in FLUG REVUE, November 2015

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