Oh my goodness! Not only were we hot, but the footfall was huge. The break of 4 years has definitely made the industry ready for face-to-face contact and raring to discuss what’s new.
WEAF headed to FIA for the first time in four years, with Walker AEC Engineering, Scientific Management International, Itel Electronics, Groveley Precision Engineering, Aeralis, WECA and Heart of the SW LEP joining them on the stand.
The team kicked off day 1 of the show by launching their new corporate video and member’s digital Network Portal, which both received excellent feedback. The UK pavilion, including ADS and the other Regional Aerospace Trade Associations, were pleased that the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, took an interest in meeting UK SME’s at the start of his tour of the show.
Throughout the week the WEAF stand buzzed with visits from many companies, including old faces and new! WEAF was pleased to host visits from a number of regional primes including Airbus, Honeywell & GKN, enabling a number of introductions.
Despite the record temperatures on days 1 & 2 there were plenty of interested people, keen to network and do business. CEO Colin Turner welcomed visits from Kathrine Bennett CEO of the HVMC catapults, along with Honeywell Yeovil and MOOG. The team also held meetings with Zero Avia and Airlander discussing the potential for supply chain opportunities and the development of a south west based flight trial centre at Exeter.
The WEAF team took part in the launch of the AGP Supply chain Solution Framework. This enhanced supply chain program, led by the AGP and will involve ADS and the Regional Aerospace Trade Associations (which includes WEAF), involves collaborating to support business improvement for SME members across the SW and UK supply chain.
WEAF CEO Colin Turner commented:
“This is an important initiative as it will provide a range of support services and digital tools to help SME members enhance their business performance. WEAF has already started on this journey with the launch on Monday of its Network Portal “
Throughout the week the team saw further engagement with a wide range of WEAF members, explaining the benefits of the new networking portal and discussing the plans for regional cluster events to onboard them to the system.
After the effects of Covid-19 hitting the industry over the last couple of year, the FIA provided the perfect platform to reconnect with existing members and make new connections.
WEAF looks forward to working on its calendar of events for the upcoming years and working with members to provide knowledge, connectivity, and strength to the SW region.