2019 ICAS Convention Preview

Photo by Marc St. Pierre

Where the Air Show Community Meets to do Business

For more than 50 years, the ICAS Convention has been the place where air show colleagues get together to do business, learn, and prepare for the upcoming air show season.

Refined and improved each year to meet your changing needs and preferences, the event now includes:

  • 11 hours of business-to-business exhibit hall sessions;
  • Abundant social/networking opportunities – both structured and informal – to help you meet, get to know and learn from the nearly 1,600 air show professionals expected to attend the 2019 ICAS Convention;
  • More than 60 education sessions and programs on a wide variety of general and specific air show topics to help make you a smarter, more productive, more efficient air show professional; and
  • A chance to immerse yourself in the science, art and business of air shows for four full days.

If you work in the air show business or if you were recently tasked with helping to organize or conduct a portion of an air show on your base or near your community, the ICAS Convention represents your best chance to prepare for the upcoming air show season and to meet the people who can help you be successful in 2020, 2021 and beyond.

The Changes You Asked For: An Unconventional ICAS Convention

ICAS has dramatically remodeled its annual convention this year to help make the event an even better, more productive and more efficient tool for you to use in doing your air show business.

In response to comments, questions and survey feedback from you and our other convention delegates, this year’s big event will include a lot of changes…some big, some small, but all of them introduced to improve your convention experience:

  • We are providing detailed convention information four full months in advance of the convention to help you better plan your participation in the event.
  • All of the sleeping rooms at the Paris Hotel have been renovated since our last convention.
  • We have reserved an entire bar for the evening use of ICAS Convention delegates only and designated it as a non-smoking area. Drink prices will be cut in half on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights.
  • We have eliminated the box lunch in the exhibit hall on the first full day of the convention and will instead offer a happy hour-style reception on the exhibit hall floor on the second evening of the program.
  • We have reformatted the announcement of the military performance schedules on the first day of the convention to make them clearer, more useful and more entertaining.
  • We have re-oriented the seating for general sessions by 90 degrees to provide more room and to improve sight lines for all convention delegates.
  • We have expanded the number and increased the variety of education sessions offered throughout the convention, retaining the most popular sessions from past conventions and adding many new sessions and formats.
  • We are offering more sessions on a wider variety of topics on both the first day of the convention (Monday) and the last day of the convention (Thursday) to improve the return of your investment in attending the ICAS Convention.
  • We are expanding our offerings of long-format workshops on the first and last days of the convention so that delegates can explore several topics in greater depth. This year, those workshops will include:
    • Air Force Open House Workshop (Sunday)
    • Air Shows 101 Air/Ground Training Workshop (Monday)
    • Air Boss 201 Advanced Air Boss Workshop (Monday)
    • Sponsorship for Events Workshop (Monday)
    • Air Show Performer Marketing Workshop (Monday)
    • Using Social Media and Digital Analytics to Sell Air Show Tickets (Monday)
    • Air Show Leadership/Management Workshop (Thursday)
    • Missionizing STEM for Air Shows Workshop (Thursday)
  • We have expanded the popular “60 Tips in 60 Minutes” break-out sessions to include fast-paced, information packed presentations on community engagement, military event organizers, social media, websites, new event organizers, safety, performer business, emergency response and logistics/facilities.
  • We have scheduled three different sessions that focus on issues related to social media.
  • We have increased the number of sessions offered specifically for military event organizers.
  • And we have changed the location and expanded the time committed to the reception immediately preceding the traditional Chairman’s Banquet to improve its function as a networking opportunity.

You’ll Make Contacts

Photo by Marc St. Pierre

Long before it established a reputation as the premier educational opportunity in the business with the largest exhibit hall in the events industry, the ICAS Convention was recognized as the place air show people go to meet and learn from one another. Ours is a business that depends on relationships, contacts, personal recommendations and the lively exchange of ideas. There is simply no better place to develop and foster those relationships than at the ICAS Convention.

ICAS members share information willingly, enthusiastically and without reservation. They pass along the same lessons that they learned from their professional colleagues and air show associates to you. It’s the ICAS culture…an environment that has served the air show industry well since the founding members of ICAS first met in 1967.

What’s this mean to you? The ICAS Convention is a unique chance to establish important relationships, learn from the most experienced and most professional people in our business, and get informed answers to your most difficult and nagging questions.

All in One Place at One Time Under One Roof

Larry Grace Photography

Consistently and for many years, our delegates have made it clear that networking opportunities are among the most useful features of every ICAS Convention.

Over the last five decades, we have carefully crafted the convention program and schedule to provide you with many opportunities to interact with and learn from your air show colleagues. From the welcome reception on the first day of the convention to the sit-down lunch and banquet, we have scheduled events that encourage interaction, networking, and informal learning.

And this year, we’ve changed the program to provide even more networking opportunities:

  • We have arranged with the hotel to reserve the bar area closest to the convention space for ICAS Convention delegates only, making informal conversations with your fellow delegates easier and more enjoyable;
  • We’ve eliminated the luncheon speaker following the Pinnacle Awards presentations to give you an opportunity to interact with those seated at your table;
  • We’re offering a happy hour-style reception in the exhibit hall during the final 90 minutes of the Wednesday afternoon exhibit hall session.
  • We’ve moved and expanded the pre-banquet reception to give you a better environment and more time to interact with your air show colleagues.

Fun, but Focused

Photo by Marc St. Pierre

That’s how one veteran ICAS member recently described the ICAS Convention. It’s everything you’d expect from a four-day event in Las Vegas with 1,600 air show people. War stories. Late nights. Lots of laughing and hangar flying. Social events designed to ensure that members have ample opportunity to spend time with their favorite people: other air show professionals.

But our convention delegates work just as hard as they play. This year’s ICAS Convention will include more than 11 hours of exhibit sessions and more than 90 hours of educational programming. First held 50+ years ago, the ICAS Convention has grown and prospered because it delivers considerable return on your investment of time, money and effort. And this year, that return rate will increase significantly.

All the fun that goes along with it is just a fortunate byproduct.

Come Early, Stay Late

During the last several years, ICAS put an increased emphasis on scheduling substantive programming not just in the heart of the four-day convention, but on either end, as well. For nearly a decade, some of the best educational programs of the ICAS Convention have run during the morning and afternoon of the first day. And the last day of this year’s convention – after the last exhibit session and before the evening Chairman’s Banquet — will include sessions that will be of strong interest to many.

Consider scheduling an earlier flight into Vegas on Monday to take full advantage of the education programs. And plan on joining us for the full day of scheduled events on Thursday, including the Thursday afternoon education sessions and our Thursday evening Chairman’s Banquet.

An Opening General Session to Remember

On the morning of Tuesday, December 10, former Good Morning, America host David Hartman will moderate a discussion with three World War II veterans to help kick off our 2019 ICAS Convention.

Although best known as the original male co-host of ABC’s morning news show for more than a decade, Hartman is highly regarded as one of the best interviewers in the history of television. More recently, he has used those talents to help World War II veterans recount their stories from three-quarters of a century ago.

David will use those skills to uncover the stories of three men who – 75 years ago – were risking their lives to defend our country and liberate hundreds of millions of people all over the world. From the South Pacific to the skies over Europe, their stories will inform and inspire you.

Following the panel discussion, the 2021 schedules for the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds and the 2020 schedules for the Snowbirds, CF-18, Harrier, Osprey, F-16, A-10, F-22 and F-35 demo teams will be announced.

The Exhibit Hall: Where the Air Show Community Gets Down to Business

Photo by Marc St. Pierre

For five decades, the exhibit hall at the ICAS Convention has been the focal point of business activity in the North American air show community. Organized around a 60,000 square foot ballroom with more than 200 different organizations promoting their products and services, our members gather in the convention exhibit hall to do business.

But it’s also a place to network, to hear about the newest developments in the business, and to learn. For three days in December, our exbibit hall will represent the densest concentration of air show experience, expertise and enthusiasm on the planet…all of them eager to share their expertise and experiences and talk with you about air shows.

Focused on Your Education Needs

Larry Grace Photography

The ICAS Convention is the largest air show training opportunity in the world. Altogether, more than 135 different speakers will share their knowledge, insight, perspective, tips, suggestions, ideas and experience with you during 90 hours of programming across nearly 60 different education/workshop programs offered between Sunday morning and Thursday afternoon.

From day-long training workshops on air/ground operations and Air Force open house planning to half-day programs on sponsorship and performer marketing to 60-minute presentations on more than three dozen different topics, the 2019 ICAS Convention education program will be the largest, most extensive ever offered anywhere ever.

There is simply nothing remotely as extensive, detailed or targeted to your needs. Nor are there textbooks, college courses or webinars that come close to offering the scope of training that you will find during four information-packed days in Las Vegas from December 9 through December 12.

Break-Out Sessions Offer Wide Range of Educational Opportunities

Larry Grace Photography

The 2019 ICAS Convention will feature 43 separate one-hour break-out education sessions addressing topics ranging from social media, sponsorship and marketing to security, emergency response, and traffic management to budgeting, human factors and logistics…more break-out sessions than ICAS has offered at any previous convention ever.

Scheduled and conducted to ensure no conflict with exhibit hall sessions and other ICAS Convention activities, our break-out education sessions are 60 minutes long and are offered in a number of different formats at a variety of levels to help give you new ideas, helpful tips and answers to your most pressing and difficult questions.

Forums Provide Clear Guidance, Direction

Photo by Marc St. Pierre

Throughout the convention, our traditional forum sessions provide essential information to event organizers. This year, we will have forum presentations from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Canadian Force Snowbirds, 1 Canadian Air Division, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command, the U.S. Army Golden Knights, the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, the Canadian SkyHawks and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Schedule at a Glance

*          The details and schedule of the 2019 are subject to change without notice.

Hotel Information: Paris Las Vegas Hotel

The 2019 ICAS Convention will be held at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino on The Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

For those staying at the hotel within the ICAS room block on the evenings of Sunday, December 8 through Thursday, December 12, ICAS has negotiated a special rate of $139 per night.  Members staying at Paris Las Vegas under the ICAS room block WILL NOT be required to pay the otherwise mandatory Resort Fee of $42 per night. If you opt not to pay the resort fee, you will not have free access to the fitness center, you will not have in-room internet access, and you will not have use of the telephone in the room.

Any delegate arriving early and staying at the hotel on the nights of Friday, December 6 or Saturday, December 7 will pay a slightly higher rate of $165 for those nights only. (Las Vegas is a gambling town and weekend sleeping room rates are higher than Sunday through Thursday rates.)

To make your reservation, click here or call 877-603-4389. Be sure to identify yourself with Group Code SPICA9.

Many Thanks to Our 2019 ICAS Convention Sponsors

Much of the programming and many of the improvements to the annual ICAS Convention are made possible by the leadership and financial support of an especially loyal and generous group of convention sponsors.

As you make your way around the exhibit hall floor and begin the process of planning your 2020 air show season, please take a minute to thank the following sponsors who have helped to make our 2019 ICAS Convention such a special event:

(Note to Sam: at the bottom of the page, underneath all of the logos, please run the following bit of copy.)

Sponsorships for the 2019 ICAS Convention are still available. Contact ICAS headquarters for more information.

Beware: Hotel Scam Artists Active Again

Several disreputable organizations are already busy contacting ICAS members, inviting them to book a room at the Paris Hotel for the ICAS Convention. Their rates vary considerably, but they are all scam artists representing themselves as being associated with the hotel and/or ICAS. They are not. Typically, the rates that they are offering are higher than those available through the ICAS block.

In addition, the rates they offer will require an additional payment of $42/night for the resort fee. ICAS Convention delegates who reserve a room in the ICAS block are exempted from paying that $42/night resort fee. And the terms and conditions on cancellations of the sleeping rooms offered by the scam artists are very strict and inflexible. ICAS members who have reserved rooms through these scam artists in the past have ended up regretting it. We urge you not to make the same mistake.


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The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) is a trade association dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant air show industry to support its membership. To achieve this goal, ICAS demands its members operate their air show business at only the highest levels of safety, professionalism, and integrity.