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Making Contacts; Moving Product

Sun 'n Fun vendors have successful show

Jerry Smith of Garmin talks to customers at the company's booth in Exhibit Hall D at Sun 'n Fun.

Fuel Cells
Chris Hartwig and his mother, Nancy, of Eagle Fuel Cells, commented that they met several international customers at Lakeland this week.

April 12 2008 — More than 500 vendors came to Sun 'n Fun 2008 to show their products to thousands of receptive visitors. However, it's not just about selling product; it's also about making friends and contacts, both here in the United States and international, as well as planning for the future.

Chris Hartwig, sales and technical support manager at Eagle Fuel Cells, said the show has been very successful for them. "We're seeing a lot more European aviators who are interested in our product," Hartwig explained. "We've also made contacts with people interested in distributing our product in Latin America and Europe." Hartwig also said he spoke with manufacturers who are interested in fuel bladders for light-sport aircraft.

Many of Hartwig's Sun 'n Fun conversations centered around technology for the future. "The market is becoming tighter for general aviation, so we have to look to the future of aviation and our company," he said. "That's why shows like this are good. General aviation has to stick together - we want to be around for another 40 years."

Jerry Smith, regional sales manager at Garmin, said the show has been good. "We're seeing great interest in the Garmin G600 and G1000 with Synthetic Vision Technology," Smith said. "The first three days seemed down, yesterday was better, and today is busy. But we stay busy all the time."

Smith's comments were typical of the Sun 'n Fun vendors surveyed. "It's been a good show," Oscar Lara of King Schools said. "We're moving product."

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