It’s already September, and if you’re like me you are putting together your 2015 budget. For me this process includes determining which industry events are worth the trip. This can be a challenging process as wrong choices can be costly in terms of both time and money. So, I thought I’d share my take on two AUSA events that will make it on my 2015 events list.
The Association of the United States Army is an organization dedicated to national security and the support of all men and women who serve in all facets of America’s Army. In addition to members of the armed services, AUSA welcomes private citizens and industry personnel who have an interest in joining them at their events and towards their common purpose. I’ve had the opportunity to attend two of their expositions, and while they were very different in size and location, both events shared a buzz around them not always found at similar shows.
Let’s start with the 2015 AUSA Global Force Symposium and Exposition in Huntsville, AL. Scheduled for March 31-April 2, this would be a good Q2 kick-off. I attended the 2014 AUSA ILW Winter Symposium and Exposition earlier this year, also held in Huntsville. And it’s no surprise why AUSA will be returning to the RocketCity.
For starters, it was hard not to notice how happy the local residents were to be hosts of this industry event. Registrants actually received a video welcome from many of Huntsville’s local officials. And, Huntsville clearly wanted to make a statement –the city is a hub for technology, industry and economic growth. (OH, and they have this thing about having the highest number of resident rocket scientists per capita. Yes, a hub for economic growth and rocket scientists.)
Local industry booths large and small showed up at the 2014 AUSA Huntsville event. Over 100 exhibitors were at the show. Well known defense prime contractors Northrop, Miltope and Harris were there, and not only were they raising awareness about their latest tactical electronics solutions, others, like Raytheon, were touting their recent moves to the city. It was nice to see small business in attendance as well, like Huntsville’s homegrown GATR Technologies (you’ve GOT to check these guys out – they design and manufacture these slick portable satellite antennas).
Washington D.C. hosts the AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition during the month of October. In fact, if you’re local or have enough room in your budget there’s still time to sign up to attend this year’s event. This is a definite must attend event in this industry if for nothing else, checking out its sheer size – over 500 exhibitors across 250,000 square feet. Check out the current exhibitor list and I’m sure someone you are already doing business with is exhibiting. Go check ‘em out. And, if you’re a small business who is not already an AUSA member, AUSA runs a promotion for their Small Business Pavilion. The fee is still steep ($5,500 for a 10×10 booth), but the annual membership fee of $6K is waived, so it could be a good way to get started.
Most importantly, both of these events are well-attended by both exhibitors and attendees, and is a great example of how a military affiliation can support an industry and vice-a-versa. Check out how to register at AUSA’s website.