UFV Business students recently completed a semester-long research project for the Abbotsford International Airshow to better understand its economic impact on the local economy. The project was framed as a competition and was part of the Business Research Methods course under the supervision of instructor David Dobson. The project provided students with valuable hands-on learning experience, with real client-based work, and connections with local community organizations. This study provided data for the Airshow’s management team that could inform operating decisions for future shows.
Research conducted by the students included a detailed online survey of 3,000 Airshow visitors, an extensive literature review, and four focus group sessions.
Students completed the project by presenting to members of the Abbotsford Airshow management team. In attendance from the Airshow were Jim Reith, President, and Dave Reith, Operations Manager.
UFV marketing professor Cindy Stewart, and aviation management professor Rod Hayward, along with Garry Fehr, AVP Research, Engagement, and Graduate Studies and Garry Fehr, and Jerri-Lynne Cameron, Director of Research Services and Industry Engagement, attended the presentations. They praised the students for the quality of their presentations.
“Students are working at a high level and it is encouraging to see,” observed Fehr.
The study concluded the Airshow provides value to the city and has a significant economic impact generating an estimated $4.25M per year in the local economy.
The Airshow team were impressed by the student presentations and detailed research analysis. Dave Reith from the Airshow thanked students for their hard work on this project. The Airshow team encouraged and supported the students throughout the various project stages.
The winning student team consisted of Harjot Kaler, Hayata Kimura, Christopher Sonea, Raaghav Bhalla, and Jasleen Sandhu. This team received premium tickets which included VIP airshow entrance and parking. The Airshow also gave away free general admission tickets to each student in acknowledgement of their hard work.