Despite the worldwide economic slump and the threat of war in Iraq, the fourth annual Aircraft Interiors Expo 2003 opened its doors at Germany’s Hamburg Messe conference center in late February, and organizers and exhibitors alike appeared pleasantly surprised at the industry response to this largest expo to date. While the 242 exhibitors represented just one more than at last year’s show, total exhibit space increased by about 25 percent from last year. No less encouraging was the number of visitors. Representing 77 countries, visitors totaled more than 7,000, about 2,000 more than the previous year. And although open to the public, the expo appears to be drawing the people that exhibitors are there to meet.
Patrice LaSusa, commercial sales manager for Armonk, N.Y.-based carpet and fabrics specialist Tapis, told AIN, “I saw a good blend of our own customers and a lot of new people from design firms and OEMs that we wanted to reach. It’s global in nature, and the people stopping at our stand were definitely interested specifically in aircraft interior products.”