The following Op-Ed was penned by the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s new CEO Joe Leader, who can be found on Twitter at @JoePLeader
The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) stands at a new dawn of living up to its fullest potential serving all aspects of the airline passenger experience industry. This year, the leadership team of APEX made changes to accelerate the organization. APEX has recently announced new initiatives and collaborations that will enable the association to fully embody the broadest scope of its charter. The approach taken by APEX builds upon four decades of strong history with new, collaborative partnerships that will enable APEX to more rapidly expand its branches while concurrently deepening its foundational roots.
Major New APEX Partnerships for 2016
Last month, APEX heralded its partnership with Future Travel Experience (FTE). After successful event collaborations this fall, the groups announced the co-location of APEX EXPO and FTE Asia Expo in October 2016. FTE Asia Expo provides an expansive “on-the-ground” passenger experience footprint complimentary to APEX EXPO. These formative on-the-ground companies will become new APEX members.
Today, APEX EXPO officially announced its partnership with Aircraft Interior Expo (AIX). In lieu of AIX Americas for the year, AIX Asia will be co-located with APEX EXPO in Singapore from 25-27 October 2016 featuring an expansive complementary floor of interior design, cabin engineering management systems, soft furnishings, leather, textiles, galley equipment, lighting services, and seating products. These exhibiting companies and many more will become new APEX members expanding APEX’s scope. In addition, APEX will host a first-of-its-kind airline passenger experience leadership symposium during the peak day of AIX Hamburg on Wednesday, 13 April 2016. In turn, APEX will be featured as a leading association supporter of AIX Hamburg both on-line and in print advertisements.
APEX Renewing Focus on Delivering Value
In 2016, APEX’s priority will be to focus on delivering more value to its current members and new programs specific to the needs of new APEX members. With the addition of the APEX event at AIX Hamburg in 2016, APEX has adjusted its annual event calendar. APEX MultiMedia Market has been moved to Amsterdam for 18-20 April 2016, with Istanbul to be saved for another year per member requests. The timing of APEX MultiMedia Market aligns with AIX Hamburg, which will be happening two weeks beforehand, and with FTE Europe in Amsterdam immediately thereafter. Continuing the theme of aligned partnerships, APEX TEC will co-locate on 8-9 June 2016 immediately after Global Connected Aircraft in Los Angeles. Finally, APEX South America has been moved to July 2016 to better serve the market during their winter season. This strategic approach allows an APEX presence across four continents with two APEX events in the spring, two in the summer, and culminating with a blockbuster EXPO in Singapore to close out the year. APEX’s collaboration with long-time partner organization, International Flight Services Association (IFSA), will continue as APEX and IFSA rejoin in Long Beach, California USA for EXPO 2017.
A Value Based Philosophy Moving Forward
This year, APEX also changed its philosophy to focus its financial energies upon what its members value most in technology, innovation, connectivity, and regional educational events that reach a critical mass of attendance to break even or better. This philosophy will add to the long-term success of APEX by requiring that all events are viewed as valuable in both time and money by members that elect to attend them. Our recent APEX TEC conference charged for the first time in its history and offered a money back guarantee. Not a single member took APEX up on that offer.
A Note of Equality
Finally, in a nod to the spirit of “Runway Girl” as an advocate for women in aviation, on behalf of APEX I would like to highlight its gender equality advancements as an association. APEX added three amazing board members this fall – all of them women, replacing male predecessors. APEX’s senior staff consists of 60 percent women and 40 percent men. Additionally, our 100 percent dedicated APEX media team writers are currently, an all-female team by wonderful happenstance.
APEX Surge Only at Its Beginning
After changing in name to serve the airline passenger experience industry, APEX’s watershed changes will enable the association to surge to its fullest potential. Change only serves all when executed thoughtfully and consistently. The approach taken by APEX will quicken industry expansion and revenue results for industry airlines, suppliers, and partners. Every step of APEX’s action-oriented surge stems from an overarching strategy of service, collaboration, innovation, and thought-leadership.