Hot Springs Summit Sum-up

Hot Springs Summit Sum-up
Thursday, 17 May 2018 15:51

AADA HotSprings Summit SumUpThe 10thAnnual Arkansas Summit went – to sum up – fantastically! This year’s summit, hosted once again at the Hotel Hot Springs, ended with great successes. The summit’s turnout showed high participation from member companies, considerable attendance from outside companies, positive B2B meetings, well-discussed and engaging info sessions, and an abundance of newfound networking connections. 

Buyer companies Lockheed Martina, Dassault Falcon, and Galley Support Innovations were present and hopefully made successful connections in expanding their supplier base, and establishing new contacts. Overall, through successful session discussion, members can more readily picture the upcoming opportunities for growth in Aerospace and the Defense sector within Arkansas, as well as the Mid-America region. 

This year’s summit confirmed a lot of people’s expectations and desires to connect and talk with other members; to learn and grow from experienced people within the same industry sector; connect and actively create new business opportunities. People are feeling positive about events, and expected growth in the coming years. One of the most anticipated sessions was given from Arkansas Economic Development Commission President, Mike Preston. His presentation laid out the continuing vision for Arkansas, and Gov. Hutchinson’s efforts that are being put forth to grow and expand aerospace plans in the state; this largely showing that the state government is committed to actively growing this sector. “I think the aerospace industry welcomed Mr. Preston’s comments to that regard, and feel solid about where the industry is moving. Going forward, with the help of the state, creating a more competitive and business friendly climate to keep up with our neighboring states,” AADA Executive Director Chad Causey commented.

What started out as just a handful of companies, participating via teleconference from various sites around the state, has grown to the over 200 members now engaged within the Alliance. This Alliance has proven to be a valuable tool for its members in expanding their businesses through networking connections and creating an environment where new opportunities thrive. “We’ve had several companies that will claim that [new] business [is] attributed directly to participation in the summit, it’s been successful… but we’re switching it up,” Chad explained, “Ten years is a good run for the model that we have, but we want to expand those B2B opportunities and those networking opportunities the information that we bring and the participants we bring, we want to attract new attendees and participants to come to see what Aerospace and defense is all about.”

The 2019 Aerospace and Defense Summit will be, instead, the First Annual Mid-America Aerospace and Defense Summit. Moving to a larger scale for the summit, the AADA is committed to devoting more time and energy to making this convention a more national summit. “We’ll recruit a broader, bigger variety of buyer companies for our members’ B2B meetings, and in turn hope to attract a larger, more diverse supplier pool to cultivate more of those meetings,” Chad declared. Details and dates are still in the planning stages, but be certain to keep a weather eye on the horizon as more information becomes available. 

It’s key to build upon the successes, and continue to provide more value to Alliance members and attendees for the summit next year. For Arkansas? It’s a regional scale for aerospace and defense as well, and the summit aims to highlight that. The more folks that get to come, the more connections for Alliance members, and the more benefits they receive.