FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

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Tommy
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Tommy »

I'm sure Andy is (or will be) fully aware of the product he is taking the helm of. I don't think he'd be stupid enough to ignore the experience of those he will be working with, nor the value of enthusiasts to the show.

I would echo the above, really. I know I keep banging on about it but I would also go further to suggest that as a base for what has worked in recent years (which is more reflective of the economy/budget cuts/shifting geopolitical emphasis that the "golden days"), then he needs to look at the 2012 show as the gleaming example of how it should be done. Not just great aircraft participation, but the PR (remember Ellie, and her letter about the U-2?), transparency, website efficiency, and the rest.

The thing about men in business that hop from company to company is that it makes us mere mortals (rightly or wrongly) question whether their passion is really present. In an event such as this, there HAS to be passion for aviation. In every interview with Tim, you can see his passion for the event, its aircraft and its people. If someone takes charge of this, and replaces passion for all things flying with business buzz words such as "management solutions", "transformational change" and "strategic leadership" their credibility will be shot.

I'm sure he knows the core element of the show, its most loyal fans and what sets it apart from the rest. He might well turn out to be a breath of fresh air that DBH needs.

I think if there is one thing I'd say to him; it would be to listen to those fans who support the show year in, year out, listen to Tim Prince, listen to those at DBH and learn.

It really doesn't take long to get bitten by the RIAT bug, and understand exactly what sets the show apart.

I do absolutely wish him every success, and will fully support the show under his helm unless I am given reason not to.

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Skyflash »

^^^ Great post.

Not too much to add from me; I'd maybe extend Dan's point (4) to state "under no circumstances underestimate the important of the static park, just in general". If the static park is near-empty and/or lacking any star items, then the rationale for doing a Mach 2 or 3 package is obliterated, thus representing a futher dislocation of the show from its core customers... those of us who, as you say, will be there year in year out. But maybe not for much longer.

And BTW, may I commend Dan's restraint in not mentioning the, erm, you-know-what... :whistle: :grin:
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by TYPHOON3 »

Some excellent points made there Dano but aimed more at the enthusiasts and die hard RIATers who have been going to the show for many years.Some of Joe Public that attend won't give a stuff about some of the points you have made as long as they see acts like the Reds,BBMF etc in the air.This new guy won't change that much if the show keeps selling enough tickets year after year which is not great for us who mainly go to the show for the aviation side of things.Lets give the guy a chance and hope he improves the show for the better.

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Russ »

Excellent post, a lot of home truths, fairly made. Hopefully the hierarchy at DBH will take note.

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by DanH »

I have one suggestion. The only Bacon at RIAT should be found in a bun with a good dollop of sauce, if you get my meaning. :ninja:
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Pat Murphy »

DanH wrote:I have one suggestion. The only Bacon at RIAT should be found in a bun with a good dollop of sauce, if you get my meaning. :ninja:


Aaahh but what type of sauce...Red or Brown?? Answer carefully, as only one is right :grin:

Can't add much really to what's been said already, but sadly, I think the days of the enthiusiast, as the focus for RIAT, are numbered, if not already ended. Far too many corporate banners, sideshows and suchlike. Won't stop me paying my money and attending for at least one day, but it might mean I make it Farnborough years only.
Makes next year more of a make or break year for me. Good luck Mr Armstrong.

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Adie1980 »

TYPHOON3 wrote:Some excellent points made there Dano but aimed more at the enthusiasts and die hard RIATers who have been going to the show for many years.Some of Joe Public that attend won't give a stuff about some of the points you have made as long as they see acts like the Reds,BBMF etc in the air.This new guy won't change that much if the show keeps selling enough tickets year after year which is not great for us who mainly go to the show for the aviation side of things.Lets give the guy a chance and hope he improves the show for the better.


I think we need to be very careful about who and how we label "Joe Public" these days. There are plenty of non-enthusiats that are clever enough to realise they should be getting far more than the reds, Typhoon, BBMF & vulcan for their £40 entrance fee (for example, over 1 million "joe publics" know they can head to Bournemouth this summer and see all the previously mentioned for FREE).

I think Dan has hit the nail on the head for ALL who attend RIAT, die hard or not :clap:
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Adie1980 »

Tommy wrote:I'm sure Andy is (or will be) fully aware of the product he is taking the helm of. I don't think he'd be stupid enough to ignore the experience of those he will be working with, nor the value of enthusiasts to the show.

I would echo the above, really. I know I keep banging on about it but I would also go further to suggest that as a base for what has worked in recent years (which is more reflective of the economy/budget cuts/shifting geopolitical emphasis that the "golden days"), then he needs to look at the 2012 show as the gleaming example of how it should be done. Not just great aircraft participation, but the PR (remember Ellie, and her letter about the U-2?), transparency, website efficiency, and the rest.

The thing about men in business that hop from company to company is that it makes us mere mortals (rightly or wrongly) question whether their passion is really present. In an event such as this, there HAS to be passion for aviation. In every interview with Tim, you can see his passion for the event, its aircraft and its people. If someone takes charge of this, and replaces passion for all things flying with business buzz words such as "management solutions", "transformational change" and "strategic leadership" their credibility will be shot.

I'm sure he knows the core element of the show, its most loyal fans and what sets it apart from the rest. He might well turn out to be a breath of fresh air that DBH needs.

I think if there is one thing I'd say to him; it would be to listen to those fans who support the show year in, year out, listen to Tim Prince, listen to those at DBH and learn.

It really doesn't take long to get bitten by the RIAT bug, and understand exactly what sets the show apart.

I do absolutely wish him every success, and will fully support the show under his helm unless I am given reason not to.


2012 was absolutely the template as to how RIAT can suceed in the modern era :clap:
(Only difference being they allowed "touch & go's" that year, I wonder if we'll ever see that back... )
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by strangelookingalien »

DanO1978 wrote:A thread in which to post your suggestions to the new man on how to fix RIATs various problems, perceived or otherwise...

I'll set the ball rolling...

1. You've inherited an AIRSHOW which in recent years has seemed ashamed or embarrassed to be seen as one. Your core audience who'll come back year in year out will only do so if the aviation content is the best available. Do not assume that filling 7 hours with any old guff will get people through the gates, so long as the Red Arrows and BBMF are included. RIAT's reputation was as an airshow that strove for quality. Put your faith in Tom Gibbons, and listen to what he tells you. If you're charging a premium rate, then punters demand, rightly, a premium product. Give them something they won't get at Waddington, Yeovilton or Cosford.

2. Dumb UP, not down. Don't assume that your customers have the intellect of plankton. People have paid north of £40 a head because they clearly have at least a passing interest in aviation. That is obviously their NUMBER ONE REASON for being there. Sideshows have always been a part of RIAT, but do not, EVER, sell these as reasons for attending. The Alexandra Burke disgrace was, and I'm sure he'd admit, Tim Prince's biggest mistake in recent years. Having seen the figure she was paid, I'm amazed the decision was even sanctioned. That mistake must never, ever, be made again. Don't make the mistake of treating your audience like morons. RIAT attracts, from what I've seen, a far higher number of "ABC1s" than many outdoor events. Turn the show into an X-Factor celebrified mush, with a few aeroplanes, and they won't come back - they'll realise Legends at Duxford and Old Warden's events offer far more aviation-centred events for a lot less money.

3. Bring back Wings FM instead of Air Tattoo Live. The "old" station was far more aviation slanted. Derek Liddell's dulcet tones were as much a part of the RIAT experience as USAF burgers, queues for the khazi and the smell of jet fuel. The current equivalent, sadly, is trying too hard to be "Today's Better Music Mix FM" with presenters who know next to nothing about aeroplanes, and just spout scripted RIAT media releases between (terrible) songs. The quality of the aviation content on there is next to abysmal, with interviewers who haven't a clue, asking the same questions they asked the year before, and the year before that.

4. The static park. Again, your core audience come to get close to, and to photograph rare aircraft. The best location for this on the showground appears to have been frittered away. Do whatever you can to bring this back. Do not underestimate how badly people missed it in 2013.

5. PR. 2013 was the year of the balls-up. Under no circumstances must that level of incompetence be allowed to repeat itself in future years. Look at staffing PR and Marketing with actual, knowledgable enthusiasts - if the people in key positions understand the product and what RIAT stands for, those embarrassing blunders will be less likely. Anyone who understood airshows should have had the wit to realise that announcing common, everyday RAF regulars as an "Easter Eggstravaganza" was credibility suicide.

6. Traditions. The USAF burger stalls, the photobuses. Lost for various reasons, but surely not insurmountable ones? It's the little things which made RIAT special to the regulars.

Over to the rest of you.

I wish the new man well - I'm of the belief OUR show can be saved...


Absolutely agree with everything you've stated here, DanO. My only other gripe is the posters of recent years. Bring back Wilf Hardy!

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by boff180 »

Adie1980 wrote: (Only difference being they allowed "touch & go's" that year, I wonder if we'll ever see that back... )


A casualty of the MAA rules, where the runway is closer to the crowd than the display line = runway can only be used for normal take off and landings at beginning/end of display, no missed approaches as part of the display. Not RIAT's fault but will be sadly missed.

Andy

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by zigzag »

A few pointers for the new guy,

1) take a trip to some of the European Airshows such as Gilze, Payerne and KB this year. See how thier emphasis is on aircraft not sideshows, see the size of the crowds who are there because of the aircraft (I know these are military shows, maybe free etc etc, but tale a look anyway, as for most of your historical core audience these are what you are competing with not Alton Towers).
2) look through some of the more considered and balanced review posts on UKAR going back a few years, see the disappointment of 2011, see how this was rectified in 2012, and then destroyed again in 2013.
3) bring back the theatre of the air.
4) remember the show was built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.
5) the loss of the loop for photographers was premediated in 2013, dont do that again cater for us properly.
and finally and probably most importantly
6) be bold and dont play it safe.
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by sylvancatharsis »

zigzag wrote:6) be bold and don't play it safe.

Except with regard to actual safety :smile:
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Wissam24 »

If the paying public are only interested in the BBMF, Red etc, and will come regardless of what else there is, then the rest of the show can be catered toward the paying enthusiast, as they still need to be "captured" after those acts. And if the paying public are a lot more intelligent than that and do look at what is coming, then you still need to cater to an enthusiast appetite. There's no need to dumb anything down in any scenario.

Also, it might not be a good idea to bring home the Bacon.
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

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Wissam24 wrote:If the paying public are only interested in the BBMF, Red etc, and will come regardless of what else there is, then the rest of the show can be catered toward the paying enthusiast, as they still need to be "captured" after those acts. And if the paying public are a lot more intelligent than that and do look at what is coming, then you still need to cater to an enthusiast appetite. There's no need to dumb anything down in any scenario.

Also, it might not be a good idea to bring home the Bacon.


:clap: :clap: :clap:

I'm so glad that someone else has grasped this point (and indeed expressed it better than I could have myself).

Think of it as a type of Venn diagram: either enthusiasts and Joe Public are two separate circles, in which case = book rare/interesting aircraft; or enthusiasts and Joe Public are overlapping circles, in which case = book rare/interesting aircraft.
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Adie1980 »

Wissam24 wrote:If the paying public are only interested in the BBMF, Red etc, and will come regardless of what else there is, then the rest of the show can be catered toward the paying enthusiast, as they still need to be "captured" after those acts. And if the paying public are a lot more intelligent than that and do look at what is coming, then you still need to cater to an enthusiast appetite. There's no need to dumb anything down in any scenario.

Also, it might not be a good idea to bring home the Bacon.


This is assuming that RIAT can afford to get whatever is available though.

Not sure of the costs involved with different acts, but bear in mind this is (potentially) the kind of decisions they will need to weigh up (just for example):

Swedish Historic Flight
Vs
Sally B, Breitling Wing Walkers, Catalina, Tucano

If Andy Armstrong truly is a numbers man and not an aviation man, I might start fearing the worst....
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Wissam24 »

Oh, I'm aware that money is of course a big factor, as is availablity from foreign militaries. But I'm saying focus less on the non-aviation side of thigns and spend more of the money on trying to get big acts, since in any case that's the most important thing. Don't just settle for the Reds and BBMF and then not worry about allocating resources to the rest.
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Adie1980 »

Wissam24 wrote:Oh, I'm aware that money is of course a big factor, as is availablity from foreign militaries. But I'm saying focus less on the non-aviation side of thigns and spend more of the money on trying to get big acts, since in any case that's the most important thing. Don't just settle for the Reds and BBMF and then not worry about allocating resources to the rest.


Totally agree! :smile:
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by tankbuster81 »

Good points made there Dan. On reading Mr Armstrong's Resume' theres a distinct lack of anything Aviation,which is a concern,but we will see how he stands up before criticising totally.
One thing i would love to see less of is something I've had in an e Mail from RIAT today. Bloody Corporate crowd line Enclosures and the like! The crowd line for the real enthusiast is shrinking year by year as it is!

Back to Grass Roots please,and Mr Armstrong please remember the show over the years has been known as " The Biggest Military AIRSHOW in the world"

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by tu16 »

This all seems a bit premature to me. Why not wait until after the 2014 show? Hopefully you'll be able to tell him to do the same again in 2015......

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Wissam24 »

tu16 wrote:This all seems a bit premature to me. Why not wait until after the 2014 show? Hopefully you'll be able to tell him to do the same again in 2015......


If he's half as experienced as he sounds, he'll be making preparations already
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Flare Path »

tankbuster81 wrote:One thing i would love to see less of is something I've had in an e Mail from RIAT today. Bloody Corporate crowd line Enclosures and the like! The crowd line for the real enthusiast is shrinking year by year as it is!

Andy


If you're paying £160 for one day ticket (example), you have every right to expect a prime viewing location and if you're a big wig then 'Who are you?'

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by tankbuster81 »

Everyone has a right to a decent view,and its expensive as it is,especially for what is on show these days.
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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by Flare Path »

tankbuster81 wrote:Everyone has a right to a decent view,and its expensive as it is,especially for what is on show these days.


You're not wrong.

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by carlbotten1971 »

Ive certainly not been a member of this forum for long but attended the show since i was a nipper well 1977 i was six years old when i attended my first show at Greenham common and all i wanted to see were planes planes and more planes and i would endorse the comment made.One thing not mentioned was last years show was saved due to one very important ingrediant GOOD WEATHER. why was the PR so poor in 2013 yet everything was so faultless in 2012.Why are they trying to familiefy R.I.A.T.The enthusiasts will attend regardless of weather for the whole 6 days.The same cannot be said for Mr &Mrs Smith with 2.4 children.If the weather is bad they will just simply take the kids to the cinema.If i want thrills i will go to ALTON TOWERS if i want to hear pop stars i would go to Glastonbury I come to R.I.A.T too see planes planes and more planes.Think on!!!

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Re: FAO Andy Armstrong - How To Solve A Problem Like RIAT...

Post by henk99 »

carlbotten1971 wrote:Ive certainly not been a member of this forum for long but attended the show since i was a nipper well 1977 i was six years old when i attended my first show at Greenham common and all i wanted to see were planes planes and more planes and i would endorse the comment made.One thing not mentioned was last years show was saved due to one very important ingrediant GOOD WEATHER. why was the PR so poor in 2013 yet everything was so faultless in 2012.Why are they trying to familiefy R.I.A.T.The enthusiasts will attend regardless of weather for the whole 6 days.The same cannot be said for Mr &Mrs Smith with 2.4 children.If the weather is bad they will just simply take the kids to the cinema.If i want thrills i will go to ALTON TOWERS if i want to hear pop stars i would go to Glastonbury I come to R.I.A.T too see planes planes and more planes.Think on!!!


Well said! :clap:
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