Superb weather was not undone by an brief afternoon rainstorm in Lakeland today, as Sun 'n Fun 2010 got underway. In our travels of the grounds a few things were evident.
First, the starting-day crowd is definitely sparser than in years past, but, as was the case with Oshkosh last year, some of that impression might be due to a subtle reshuffling of the outdoor exhibitors and the addition of a fifth large hangar (supporting a Starbucks!) dispersing visitors. Homebuilt parking was beginning to fill nicely.
Second, while there might have been fewer visitors to the vendor booths, several company representatives told us that sales (or interest that is likely to result in sales later) was better than expected. We were told by many that there were fewer people, buying more.
Third, the news conferences were few, particularly for the homebuilt crowd. We've long wondered when Internet announcements and other electronic marketing campaigns would take over for the traditional debut-at-the-show approach. Perhaps that time has come.
Tomorrow's big event is a talk by U.S. Airways' Flight 1549 first officer Jeff Skiles at 8 p.m.
For more information, visit SnF's web site.