Sequestration Update: Air Shows In The Spotlight

March 12th, 2013

With the national and local media working hard to explain the impact of sequestration, air shows are receiving considerable attention during these first few days of March. Whether it’s national exposure like this widely distributed Associated Press story from Sunday, March 10 or this politically-oriented story from Politico.com or local coverage like this story in the Atlanta Business Chronicle about the Vidalia Onion Festival Air Show, air shows have fallen into the media spotlight and become an early symbol of the bedlam created by sequestration.

At its root, this is an unfortunate development; our industry is receiving this attention specifically because it is being adversely impacted by sequestration. But, as P. T. Barnum, the 19th century American showman and circus owner, observed, “There is no such thing as bad publicity.” If you can, turn this attention into increased awareness about your show. Tell the public about all of the aerial entertainment that will be available at your event. Emphasize your dates, location and website URL. Even if your show never expected to receive military support, turn the media’s current interest in air shows into an opportunity to raise awareness about your event in your community. In “normal” circumstances, you would welcome coverage and exposure many weeks before your event, so be sure to take full advantage of that publicity in these not-so-normal times.