The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase has been chosen for the new sport aviation show slated for later this year in DeLand, Florida.
Coming up with a name for a new aviation event isn’t easy, especially one that highlights what the event will be and hasn’t been used by others. That was the dilemma facing the staff at DeLand Municipal Airport in Florida as they began planning their first annual sport aviation event.
After a couple of months of bouncing various terms around, Airport Manager John Eiff and Sport Aviation Administrator Jana Filip decided to hold a contest during the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo. More than 30 entries were received — some very clever and witty like DeLand, DePlanes, DeShow — but in the end, the winning word was “Showcase,” offered by veteran Paradise City Commentator Michael McClellan.
“Because that’s what the event will be — a showcase for airplanes and aviation stuff,” McClellan said, adding, “I thought about little kids in an old-time country store looking at candy inside a glass case … a showcase. Sometimes they come to buy and sometimes they only come to see what’s new and available. That’s what people do at a show like DeLand is planning. We are like those kids in the candy store! And the vendors are just like the candy storeowner; they’re proud of the products they offer. A show like DeLand will be a great opportunity for everyone to come together.”
McClellan continued, “In my conversations with Jana, it became clear the focus of the event will be to showcase what sport aviation has to offer … and what DeLand’s Sport Aviation Village has to offer. So why not just use the word that best describes what they’re going to do?”
The first DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase will take place Nov. 3-5, 2016, immediately following the National Business Aviation Association’s 2016 Convention, which will take place just 30 miles down the road in Orlando, Florida.
Filip said, “We hope that will make it easy for vendors, visitors, and the media to stop by to see what we have to offer in DeLand.”
“With this premier event, we’ll be prepared to host 40 indoor and 40 outdoor exhibitors, as we get our infrastructure developed for a larger show in years to come,” she continued. “We’re excited to build this show expressly to serve the sport aviation community. We’ll make it easy for companies to offer demo rides and for customers to visit with exhibitors. People enjoy air shows, but when you’re seriously shopping for an airplane, propeller, avionics, or whatever you need for your plane, you want as much face time with the companies as you can get. That’s what we’ll provide, along with a fun atmosphere for people to enjoy all that sport aviation offers.”
Providing information and educational opportunities also will be a part of the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase, and the event area will include specifically designed forum and workshop venues.
“Again, starting from the ground up will allow us to focus on serving the needs of presenters and those attending those sessions,” Filip said.
McClellan has committed to serving as the commentator for the 2016 DeLand Showcase. He has regularly been the commentator in Paradise City for SUN ‘n FUN, as well as for the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. He prefers to be called a commentator as opposed to an announcer because, “An announcer tells you he has tomatoes for sale; a commentator makes you want a tomato to eat.”