Exhibition World Issue 4 2017 - Page 54

Show Snapshot Promoting partnerships over politics US organiser Kallman Worldwide’s experience at 2017’s Paris Air Show reminds us that national pavilions are an invitation to global cooperation - Words: Tom Kallman, president and CEO, Kallman Worldwide (pictured right with French president Macron) I just returned from the Paris Air Show, where it seemed the question on everyone’s mind was, “What’s new in your country?” Depending where you’re from, and where you stand, you could easily mistake that as a political statement. Since the last Salon du Bourget in 2015, there have been more than 50 presidential elections around the world. Add parliamentary or legislative contests, appointed posts and related staff turnover, and there’s a lot of ‘new’ happening politically in most of our countries. Considering the nature and outcomes of some of those elections — notably in the United Kingdom, France, South Korea, the Philippines and the United States — you could even be forgiven for hearing a tinge of exhaustion in the question. For some, the pace of change has been non-stop. From Kallman Worldwide’s perspective (organising US exhibitors at international events since 1963, and at Le Bourget since 1995), the coincidence of the show with political shifts in one direction or another carried a bit of déjà vu. Over the past 22 years the UK has had fi ve prime ministers, France and the US have each had four presidents, South Korea, six and the Philippines, fi ve. Shifts happen. Over the same period, global military 54 Issue 4 2017 spending has grown from US$1tn to nearly $1.7tn, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Deloitte says commercial aircraft production increased 120.5 per cent since 1996 to keep pace with passenger and freight demand. In other words, palace intrigue may be a perennial conversation starter at the Paris Air Show, but it’s not the conversation: the business of Le Bourget would appear to be politics-proof, or at least agnostic. Thus the question — and more so, the answer — is precisely why America and 26 other countries presented national pavilions this year, and it has nothing to do with politics. National pavilions are a patriotic expression of collective industry pride, presented in the spirit of global partnership. From nation to nation, they’re an invitation: “Come see our country’s new equipment, products and services. Show us yours. Let’s work together.” National pavilions are also practical. They give participating exhibitors — especially fi rst-time small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) — instant equity and scale. That’s why, as emerging economies fl ex their industry muscles in global supply chains, we’re seeing an increase in the number of national pavilions and exhibitors w w w.exhibitionworld.co.uk