FlightSimExpo 2019 is right around the corner. On June 7th, thousands of aviation and simulation fans will converge at Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld in Florida to begin taking in days of content, trying out new experiences, and socialising with friends both old and new. Whilst many have already bought their tickets for North America’s flight simulation conference, there’s still room for more to come and join in on the fun.
The trip to Orlando may be lengthy for some, but below are 10 reasons why you should attend FlightSimExpo 2019 in Orlando.
[If you don’t need 10 reasons, you can buy your tickets from the FlightSimExpo website. Don’t forget, they go up in price as of May 15th, so you better act fast]
Dates: 7th – 9th June
Location: Renaissance Orlando at Seaworld, Orlando, Florida
Number of Exhibitors: 60+
Ticket Prices: Single day tickets start at $45, with weekend tickets starting at $80*. (Includes free EAA membership)
Do you want discount on tickets?
All you need to do is enter the code “FSELITE” at the checkout to receive your discount.
Do note: this offer is only valid until 23:59ET on May 19th 2019. After that, tickets will remain at $80 for the whole weekend.
Reason #1 – Over 60 exhibitors to visit
For many, this is the most exciting part of attending any event. The huge number of exhibitors at this year’s event is the most for anyNorth American flight simulation conference. One of the most exciting elements of the exhibitor list is the sheer variety. From big names such as Laminar Research, Orbx, Navigraph and Aerosoft, to the smaller developers who are taking part, like PILOT’S, Hi-Fi Sim Tech and Milviz. Many of your favourite developers will be there showing off a range of products.
Of course, it’s not just flight sim developers who will be there. Expect a range of other related companies too. For example, Graves RC will be there with their products, along with iCloth and 1C Game Studios.
Furthermore, the list of exhibitors does not include other flight sim personalities and developers who are likely to attend. We know that some of your favourite streamers and YouTube stars will be there including Chewwy94, FlightChops, Matt Davies, Squirrel and Jeff Favignano.
And there are still likely to be a variety of developers there representing their companies, but who haven’t explicitly said they are coming. In the past, A2A simulations and Carenado have been known to wander the show floor saying ‘hi’ to fans.
Reason #2 – Connect with thousands of people
Last year, FlightSimExpo 2018 saw over 1,000 people head to Las Vegas to take part in the community-driven event. This year, it’s expected that even more people will make the journey to Orlando. This means if you go, you will be connecting with potentially thousands of people.
Whether that is flying a simulator with someone else, meeting up with some friends, grabbing a beer and some food, or simply connecting via the Whova app, it’s so easy to meet and make new friends. It’s one of the cooler parts of the event for me personally. It really helps remind me how large this community really is and the common interest of flight simulation.
Reason #3 – Find out about new products first
During these events, there are often multiple product announcements. Last year, GSX Level 2 from FSDreamTeam was shown off and PMDG had an hour long sessions about their future including the introduction of Global Flight Ops.
This year, there are multiple product announcement seminars. From the likes of Mettar Simulations, Orbx and Laminar Research – there are bound to be a few new product reveals during the event. You can be the first to catch the announcements as they happen and share in the excitement.
Reason #4 – Opportunity to win a Virtual-Fly Yoko the Yoke PLUS
Virtual-Fly released their Yoko the Yoke PLUS model just a few weeks ago. The new model incorporates a range of new features, which make it an even better yoke than its predecessor.
FSElite, along with Virtual-Fly will be giving people at the event an opportunity to win this fantastic piece of kit. It will be super easy to enter and we will even ship it back home for you.
This reason alone is worth at least $1,100 USD if you win.
Reason #5 – ..and plenty of other cool prizes!
Along with Virtual-Fly, attendees will have the chance to enter raffles to win a variety of prizes from a range of providers. FS2Crew, Stay Level Avonix, RealityXP, Threshold and Bose Aviation have all donated prizes you could potentially win during the event.
There may even be a cool FSElite prize or two we’ll be giving away.
Reason #6 – Orlando has plenty of things to do and see
Orlando is known for its family-friendly tourist attractions. It is also home to some of the best theme parks in the world including Disney World, Universal and Busch Gardens. Not only that, but there is amazing nightlife, many fun fairs, and plenty of great places to dine.
If those aren’t your thing, the hotels in the area have some great pools and some of the best Floridia beaches are just a few hours drive away.
Whilst the weekend may be jam-packed with FlightSimExpo, if you’re travelling a long way to attend the show, then you can use the additional vacation days to explore the range of great tourist things to do in Orlando.
What’s more, through the Whova app, you can also see what others in the community are doing, so there are possibilities to meet up and enjoy the attractions together.
Reason #7 – Great discounts on a range of things to do in Orlando
Your FlightSimExpo pass doesn’t just include a weekend of fun in the exhibition hall, it also includes access to a huge range of discounts and vouchers for things all across Orlando. From park tickets, dining and other family activities, you can save hundreds of dollars during your trip. For example, you could save $45 on Universal theme park tickets, or enjoy up to 25% off a variety of shows and meals.
Not only will you get access to a specific site with all the discounts, but your exhibition pass will also entitle you to a large number of discounts from a variety of retailers
Reason #7B – Discount on transportation and flights
To encourage as many people as possible to attend, the FlightSimExpo team have worked with various airlines to offer some great savings. Delta, Southwest, and WestJet are all participating and you can find out exactly how to book your flights on the FlightSimExpo website.
In addition to flights, you will be able to save money on rental cars and Lyft taxis.
Reason #8 – Plenty of great seminars for simmers and non-simmers alike
We’ve spoken about the product announcement events, along with the huge number of exhibitors, but there’s also going to be a range of exciting seminars.
If you’re a keen simmer, you may want to go and take part in the Meet & Greet with the Lockheed Martin team or perhaps learn a bit more about Dispatching and Ops Management. If you’re looking to put your skills to the test, why not take part in the Landing Competition on Sunday morning, which will be judged by YouTube personality Froogle. There are also seminars on how to build an at-home cockpit as well as an FAA WINGS Seminar.
For non-simmers, there’s a great series all designed around taking you from little to no knowledge to being confident to get in the virtual skies. The Using At Home Flight Simulation series will take you through what products to buy, what hardware you should consider and also how to get involved in online communities.
Regardless of experience, knowledge or preference on type of flight simulation, there is a range of seminars all designed to enhance your knowledge and experience.
Reason #9 – Free EAA membership
Included with all registration options is the ability to include free EAA Membership with your ticket to the event. The membership will include six editions of the EAA sport Aviation Magazine, access to local EAA chapters, free entry to more than 300 museums, and discounted attendance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
A year’s membership is worth $40 alone, so it would effectively mean you would be then paying only $30 for your weekend FlightSimExpo ticket.
Exact details on how you can claim your free membership will be sent out after the event in June.
Reason #10 – Socialising and Creating Memories and Bonds That You will Never Forget
Despite all the discounts, seminars, new announcements – the most exciting element for me is, without a doubt, the socialising aspect of the event. For many, flight simulation is a hobby we do behind a monitor and keyboard, with little interaction with people. Of course, there are a huge range of communities out there, but nothing quite feels like the in-person bond you make with people during these events.
It’s hard to describe how amazing it is to be in a room with thousands of people with the same passion, enthusiasm and love for the hobby we all enjoy daily. Having conversations with these people over food or drink during the Saturday evening social event or simply hanging out after the show is an incredible feeling.
Whether it’s meeting your favourite developer, taking that selfie with someone you’ve been following on YouTube or simply shaking a community member’s hand to say thank you. The memories you create during these events are long-lasting.
Don’t Just Take My Word For It…
Some members of the FSElite team have put together their own experiences or what they’re most looking forward to.
“FSExpo 2019 will be my first flight simulation gathering, and I’m really looking forward to it. I decided to attend FSExpo this year because I really wanted to broaden my horizons within the flight simulation community and learn more about the people who are apart of it. The vast diversity in flight simmers that will be attending this year will allow me to discover more about flight simulation, whether it be DCS, FSX, Prepar3D, or even Aerofly FS 2. I’m also excited to meet the developers who create the aircraft, scenery and addons that we all love. FSExpo will allow me to make new friends with others or meet with old friends who have the same interests as me. Grouping up with the guys at FSElite and representing the flight simulation media side of things will be very, very fun! On the flip side of things, I’m looking forward to meeting the guys at Orbx.
We all love and cherish the high-quality products that Orbx creates for us, and to meet the guys who have created such great products will be exciting. Plus, after having watched previous interviews with them, they seem really cool and open to any questions that we may have for them. All-in-all, I’m very excited to attend FSExpo and be sure to say “hi” if you see me, or any of the other FSElite guys there!”
“When I attended Flight Sim Expo 2018, it was a unique experience for me as I had never attended a convention before, nor had I ever been to the United States, as I’m a Canadian. It was eye-opening in multiple ways and a fantastic experience meeting people I otherwise never would have.
Because flight simulation is mainly an online hobby, most of the communication you have with people in the community is via text through internet forums, PMs, and maybe at best a Discord or Skype call. Meeting people in real life absolutely makes everything more personal and very much nicer. People who I might have had a disagreement with on a Facebook page who end up blocking me out of frustration are perfectly nice and reasonable people in reality and we end up having great discussions.
Of course, the time spent with the FSElite team is always a great time as well and it’s always wonderful to see everyone and catch up over a few Twisted Teas (Greg and Calum…).
Honestly, for me, the exhibitions and speakers are less of interest to me, although still a great part of the expo. I just am a huge fan of the social aspects.”
“When FSElite invited me to attend FSExpo 2018 in Las Vegas, I was beside myself with excitement. I have never travelled to the United States from my home town in Canada without family. I was travelling with a fellow FSElite member, but it was still very new to me. The first day of the expo was overwhelming, in a good way of course. There was so much to see. At the time I had a knee injury from a motorcycle crash just before I left for Las Vegas, but that didn’t stop me from running around checking out new equipment, streamers, shaking hands with developers, and trying a flight sim with VR for the very first time. I must say, VR is absolutely mind-blowing! From a real-world pilots standpoint, it feels so real. I talked up several developers which included meeting and shaking the hand of the Orbx CEO which made it difficult to fangirl. Honestly, it’s fair to say it was hard not to fangirl whenever I met any developers or streamer.
If I were to narrow everything down and choose a favourite moment from FSExpo18, I think it would be a tie between myself and 2 other FSElite members walking the entire Las Vegas Strip, and trying a simulator with VR. The first night, Seth, Gregand I walked the entire strip. Even though I had a bit of a bum knee, it was quite an experience seeing Las Vegas for the first time. Hearing all about Las Vegas from friends and family and seeing it all in person was eye-opening. I paid the price later that night and the next morning, but I would do it over and over again. But of course, the knee didn’t stop me. The first day of the expo, I had the chance to try X-Plane 11 and Aerofly FS2 in VR. Both simulators were astounding in VR. At the time, I had never used Aerofly FS2 before and seeing it for the first time in VR it was beautiful.
I look forward to seeing familiar faces and meet new in Orlando for FSExpo2019.”
Will we see you there?
Let us know in the comments.
We look forward to see many of you at the event in June!