World’s first major digital trade event hailed a success

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Image: Opening ceremony, 20 July 2020, moderated by Peggy Hollinger, international business editor, Financial Times. Speakers details: - Gareth Rogers, CEO, Farnborough International - Victoria Foy, CEO, Safran Seat GB - Tony Wood, CEO, Meggitt - Dr Charles Woodburn, Group Chief Executive Officer, BAE Systems plc - Jacqui Sutton, Chief Customer Officer – Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce - Guillaume Faury, CEO, Airbus - Alessandro Profumo, CEO, Leonardo - Rt Hon Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial strategy - Rt Hon Ben Wallace, Secretary of State for Defence

Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) Connect, the world’s first major digital trade event for the aerospace and defence industries has proven a phenomenal success delivering a week of top-quality content and heavyweight representation from Government and business.

Nearly 14,000 delegates came together virtually from 97 countries. Over five days, 240 representatives including the CEOs of Airbus, Leonardo, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Meggit and Emirates, contributed to a world-class conference programme broadcast by FINN – the Farnborough International News Network.

FIA Connect was opened by the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; and the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, the Secretary of State for Defence.

Speaking about the week, Gareth Rogers CEO of Farnborough International said: “Farnborough has an enduring reputation for technological ingenuity and through FIA Connect our team demonstrated an ingenuity of our own. In just a matter of months, we created an event that enabled the global aerospace industry to have vital conversations at a time it is enduring the biggest challenge in its history.

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“FIA Connect will serve as a landmark event which ensured Farnborough International continued to provide a strategic platform for organisations throughout the world to come together even during a time when we cannot meet in person.”

In addition to the conference programme, nearly 460 on-line meetings took place through the FIA Connect platform as part of the week’s Meet the Buyer procurement event which saw 75 buyers meet 244 Suppliers.

FIA Connect concluded with Farnborough Friday: day dedicated to inspiring young people and engaging them in the wealth of career opportunities available throughout the industry. As well as inspirational speakers, there was practical support and guidance aimed at encouraging the next generation to focus on the STEM subjects that are so valuable to industry.