We’ve made loads of great progress since I last wrote to all of our loyal followers!
We’ve really looked into how we can maximize our use of Social Media as part of an enhanced marketing strategy to generate interest. Michaela, Peter and I have learnt about generational metrics, immediacy of information types, platform effectiveness metrics and so much more! Many thanks to Sqn Ldr ‘Kev’ from HQ Air Command for giving us his valuable assistance and inside information. Stay tuned to see us expand onto more diverse platforms, whilst sharpening our content, as we progress towards 11 Jun 17 (get this date in your diary now folks!).
One of the things to grip when facing the challenge of delivering an Air Show is the ‘Manpower Situation’. I’m a firm believer in empowerment and Mission Command and have hand selected a dozen or so Project Managers to lead on a range of tasks. They don’t know who they are yet, and I’ll be speaking personally to them all next week. To be fair, I know they will all relish having such a high-profile role and the opportunity to work with the amazing Air Show Team. The Project Managers’ tasks will really stretch them and help develop them, but my focus is very much on delivering a safe and thoroughly enjoyable event.
Given the scale of the Project Managers’ tasks, I have selected a band of brothers from the ranks of our experienced SNCO cadre and Junior Officers to be Project Officers. I sit at the top of this simple yet vast network, and my role is to look downwards to hold people to the task, and to look sideways to dovetail efforts with the Air Show Team.
In relation to the Air Show Team’s task, one key milestone that Marilyn has delivered is to wrap up the accounts of last year’s Air Show. I’m thrilled to announce that last year the RAF Cosford Air Show raised £115,000 that will be shared across our 4 Service Charities. I often reflect on the good work that is undertaken on behalf of the wider, and often elderly, service community that so many of our people can rely on when times are tough. It’s a privilege to be part of the team that can assist in such an important area.
As a keen social-media evangelist, I’ve heard you all loud and clear. At next year’s Air Show you want more afterburners, more noise, and more dynamically manoeuvring aircraft. Clive, the Air Show Director, has had a great idea to invite many international Defence Attachés to a ‘launch event’ in the RAF Club in Central London. Rather than trawl across Embassies, we aim to bring the Attachés to a central hub so that we can inspire them to get involved in our Air Show. The event is on 12 Oct 16, and I really need to start polishing my introduction and best uniform so that we create real energy and a sense of purpose. After all, it’s not often that you get >55,000 people at an aviation event in Shropshire and we’re keen to reinforce the strong bond that we have forged on operations overseas with our European Military Partners.
Whilst we’re all steaming ahead with plans for next year, it’s always good to reflect on what lessons we identified last time and to put interventions in place so that we can properly learn. We’ve conducted a formal ‘Lessons Identified’ process with each of last year’s Project Managers, and you can’t beat a deadline set by the new Chairman to energise activity.
The good news is that there are some really key points for all of our team to reflect on and absorb. You don’t need to be a rocket-scientist to realise that large projects require solid communications, particularly in the countdown period. We have lots of easy wins to enact, and some procedural issues to polish, to ensure that we can be as efficient as we can be.
Speaking of rocket-scientists, Michaela, Peter and Flt Lt ‘Howard’ will soon be visiting the Leicester National Space Centre to seek inspiration for our ‘Space’ theme for next year. Howard is a ninja at sourcing historical items, and I half expect his small band of Air Show Brothers (and Sisters) to come back with a Saturn V and the nozzle of a V2!!!! (I’m not joking about the V2!).
Catch up in October for the next update. Until then, keep dreaming about 11 Jun 17 and where you will be J
Wing Commander Chris Jones, Chairman #Cosford17