Creating Events with an Airline Theme (Tips from a Former Flight Attendant)

Over the weekend, the made-for-TV movie A View from the Top and the new TV series Pan Am brought back memories of my own training and experience as a summer flight attendant when I was at university. This resurgence in nostalgic programming takes us back to a more glamorous era before hijackings and long security check-ins.

Clearly the theme is appealing yet few conferences, special and corporate events use an airline theme. Years ago, a Montreal department store held simulated flights to help customers beat the February blahs, and it quickly sold out. They created the theme with off-duty flight attendants, a fashion show, video footage and a gourmet "in-flight" meal.

Earlier this year, Airship37, one of the newest Toronto event venues, used a fight theme to launch its new event. I remembering thinking "Sounds like something I would design."

There are some event venues at which airline themes can be created realistically. In the UK, The Blades has banquet facilities in the Sywell Aerodrome with a capacity of 1,000. The Blades offers activities that involve real flights for team events. Virtual tour.

Other venues include:

  • Hiller Aviation Museum in California
    There is an interactive cockpit, the Flight Sim Zone simulator, and meeting facilities.
  • British Airways Flight Simulator
  • Parc Downsview Park in Park (formerly Downsview Airport)
    It is now has a variety of venues that are used for sporting events, special events, film and TV commercial shoots.

Here are 3 other tips for event planners. I was once in a commercial that was shot at a downtown Toronto studio that had a flight cabin mock-up; contact companies that produce TV commercials to locate similar facilities. Contact local airlines. Some flight attendant training facilities might be available for rental when a class is not in session. Finally, to find hosts and hostesses for special events, contact talent agencies or agencies that represent off-duty flight attendants.

With a bit of persistence and lots of imagination, a flight theme may just fit the bill for your next corporate event.

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