SPLOG By DAN JOHNSON
Plenty of aviation enterprises face challenges, but one of the toughest has to be starting a new airshow event, such as last weekend’s Midwest LSA Expo at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport (MVN) in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Not only must organizers get myriad details right and try to satisfy a broad range of expectations while trying to avoid losing a pile of money, they must also be blessed with agreeable weather. Good management may address the first items, but only Mother Nature can deliver sunny skies.
Airport manger Chris Collins, his Expo board, and a hard-working crew of Midwest LSA Expo volunteers faced overcast skies on Thursday and 20-25 knots of wind on Friday. Yet the two days brought highly positive reviews from every vendor I queried, a few sales were logged, and day three was forecast to have the best weather yet. Organizers hoped to break even financially while drawing about 1,000 attendees.
For a first-year, LSA-only event, I’d call the Midwest LSA Expo a success. The Mt. Vernon Outland Airport team will have every right to be proud of their accomplishment. Some vendors are already promising to return next year. Veteran airshow exhibitors offered comments: “The facilities are great… Chris and his aides have promoted and organized the LSA Expo very professionally…The town is amazingly supportive and the area offers an abundance of nearby hotels and restaurants.”