Research Shows Farnborough International’s Virtual Event Flew High

Independent research following Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) Connect – one of this summer’s most comprehensive virtual conference and networking events – has confirmed the event a success, with nearly 90 percent of trade attendees keen to attend a future FIA Connect.

At a time when global aerospace is countering the greatest ever challenge in its history, FIA Connect provided industry with an invaluable week of insight and business growth opportunities; attracting more than 14,000 attendees and representation from 102 countries.

The independent research, carried out by Zing Insights, found that:

  • 8 in 10 participants met their objectives completely, almost completely or partially
  • 86% of trade attendees had achieved something as a result of their engagement
  • 82% of participants learned something they wouldn’t otherwise have been aware of. 

A world-class line-up of speakers from across industry and government contributed to three separate conference programmes. Participants included: Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence; Grant Shapps, Secretary of State for Transport; Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus; Dr Charles Woodburn, CEO of BAE Systems; Tony Douglas, CEO of Etihad Aviation Group and Tony Wood, CEO of Meggitt PLC.

Speaking about FIA Connect, Gareth Rogers, CEO of Farnborough International says: “Through this research we’ve learned a great deal about the value of FIA Connect and the creation and delivery of hybrid events. We are delighted that over eight out of ten trade attendees believe it can work alongside and complement our biennial Airshow.”

“Our overall objective is a safe return to traditional events and the many benefits that face to face communication delivers, something underscored by this research which found that more than three quarters of participants are keen to return to physical events as soon as possible.”

Zing Insights commented that: “For a launch event, FIA Connect 2020 has achieved incredibly strong results. Participants and trade attendees alike were thankful to FIL for organising FIA Connect and for delivering a positive substitute to the physical show.”  

Organised by the Farnborough International in just eight weeks, FIA Connect served as a strategic platform for global organisations to articulate their position – whether on industry recovery, innovation or general progress.

About FIA Connect

The first three days were hosted by FINN, the digital arm of Farnborough international. Through this forum, the major topics and trends affecting industry were explored during 26 Sessions. Feedback showed the FINN Sessions rated highly for relevance, speaker quality, length of sessions and presentation quality.

On day four, the Global Urban Air Summit (GUAS) explored all aspects of next generation flight with input from NASA, Uber Elevate, Boeing HorizonX, and Vertical Aerospace. Feedback gave GUAS 4.29 out of a potential score of 5 for session value.

Day five was dedicated to young people and inspiring future innovators by encouraging interest in the wealth career opportunities available throughout aerospace while promoting the value of studying STEM subjects. Feedback about the day received as part of the research considered it: “Great for the younger generation to learn more about aerospace and engineering.”  

A virtual Meet the Buyer feature enabled SMEs to meet with decision makers from prime and tier one organisations. Research on the feature confirmed that three-quarters of participants said they would or were likely to do business with suppliers they met.


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