EBACE Attendance Challenges: Key Issues and Pathways to Boost Participation

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The European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) has long been a highlight in the business aviation calendar, attracting industry leaders, innovators, and enthusiasts to Geneva, Switzerland. However, attendees have been facing challenges in recent years. What’s driving these challenges, and how can EBACE reclaim its standing as the premier event in the business aviation industry? This article explores the key issues contributing to these challenges and offers a roadmap to boost participation in this prominent gathering.

Visa Challenges for Non-European Visitors

Obtaining a Schengen visa poses a significant challenge for many attendees, particularly those from Asian and African countries. The considerable amount of paperwork, prolonged waiting times, and high rejection rates make the process cumbersome and limit the event’s global reach and inclusivity. EBACE should actively engage with Swiss visa authorities to advocate for stronger support and special consideration for applicants wishing to attend the event. Enhanced communication and dedicated assistance for those seeking visas could significantly ease the process, making the event more accessible to a diverse audience.

Rising Costs and Questionable ROI

The escalating costs associated with attending EBACE have become a major deterrent. Booth rentals, travel, accommodation, and other expenses have soared, making participation increasingly prohibitive, particularly for smaller enterprises and startups. These rising costs raise a critical question: Is the return on investment (ROI) still worth it? Increasingly, many companies say no. The high costs restrict the variety of exhibitors and quash the infusion of new ideas and innovation. EBACE organizers need to reevaluate their price structures, perhaps to introduce tiered pricing and offer financial incentives in order to attract a wider variety of participants.

Another area for cost control consideration is the possibility of relocating EBACE to a more budget-friendly location. Geneva, while prestigious, is known for its high cost of living and expensive services. Moving the event to another city or country with lower service costs could make participation more feasible and affordable for a larger number of companies. Moreover, Geneva Airport, being a key international gateway, faces significant space constraints during major events like EBACE due to the influx of private aircraft. This leads to increased costs and logistical challenges for exhibitors and attendees. Relocating the event could not only reduce expenses but also attract a more diverse range of participants, enhancing the overall appeal and accessibility of the event.

Environmental Concerns and Security Breaches

In today’s environmentally conscious world, business aviation faces increasing scrutiny for its carbon footprint, and EBACE is no exception. In 2023, a security breach by protestors who damaged aircraft on display highlighted both the environmental controversy and security vulnerabilities of the event. Such incidents pose a physical threat and cast a shadow over the event’s reputation, deterring potential exhibitors and attendees wary of negative publicity. This year, many manufacturers have pulled out of attending EBACE due to these concerns. Addressing these issues through meaningful sustainability initiatives and strengthening security measures is crucial. By demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility and ensuring a safe environment, EBACE can rebuild its image and appeal to a broader audience.

Path to Improvement

Revitalizing EBACE requires addressing the core issues contributing to its declining attendance:

1. Advocating for Visa Support: Collaborate with Swiss authorities to request greater support and special consideration for visa applicants attending EBACE, making the process smoother and more accessible.

2. Reevaluating Costs: Introduce tiered pricing and financial incentives for smaller companies and startups to attract a more diverse range of exhibitors and participants. Additionally, consider relocating to a more cost-effective venue to reduce overall expenses and increase accessibility.

3. Enhancing Security: Implement robust security measures to prevent incidents like the 2023 protestor breach, ensuring the safety of attendees and exhibitors.

4. Promoting Sustainability: Develop and showcase sustainable aviation technologies and practices, addressing environmental concerns and positioning EBACE as a leader in promoting eco-friendly aviation solutions.


For EBACE to regain its prominence, it must address core issues including visa support, participation costs, security and sustainability. Considering relocation to a more affordable venue could reduce expenses and enhance accessibility. These efforts will ensure EBACE continues to be a significant event, promoting networking, and growth in business aviation. By embracing these changes, EBACE can better adapt to the evolving landscape of the global aviation community.