Second annual NH Aerospace and Defense Conference set for June 1 in ManchesterBy NEW HAMPSHRE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Special to the Sunday News
April 09. 2016 11:59PM
THE FIRST New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Conference last year was a sellout. It marked the first time some of the state's 300 businesses involved in these fast growing industries had the opportunity to meet one another and see the impressive scale of aero/defense in the state.
The second annual conference is set for June 1 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, and it really will be the must-attend event for companies within New Hampshire, as well as around the Northeast. Sean Foote, supply chain manager at Transupport Inc., in Merrimack, is a board member on the conference committee and provided an overview of this year's event.
1. Before we get into the details of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense 2016 Conference, can you give us a quick overview of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium?
The consortium was started through a grant in 2013 by the New Hampshire Office of International Commerce. Since then, it has grown to include members from the aerospace and defense industry, as well as service providers that complement these enterprises. Last year, NHADEC became a nonprofit organization and hosted its inaugural New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense conference. Earlier this year, it was recognized by the New Hampshire Business Review, earning a Best of Business Editors Award as a "state initiative that really took off."
The biggest benefit of NHADEC is the partnerships it has with the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the state's Department of Resources and Economic Development and its Office of International Commerce. OIC, for example, educates NHADEC members on the benefits of export promotion grants and sponsored trade shows to help these companies expand into international markets and drive down the cost incurred if a company were to make this plunge on its own. NHADEC members also have the opportunity to receive training on various aspects of international business, from commercialization and branding to export control and ITAR regulations.
2. Last year's aero/defense conference was a tremendous success. What's new for this year's event?
The NHAD conference committee is excited about a few changes in this year's event. Through feedback from last year's conference, we extended it from a half-day event to a daylong networking and collaborative event.
The theme this year is Opportunities for Aerospace and Defense Products, Technologies, and Services in the International Marketplace, and we have scheduled a variety of presentations and break-out discussions to cover this important topic. For example, we plan on having a presentation covering foreign military sales to bring us up to date on the status on foreign countries procurement. Another highlight will be the break-out discussions covering key growth in world markets, such as Colombia, the United Kingdom, Canada and Saudi Arabia.
With the extended hours this year, attendees will have more time to visit the exhibitors. Last year, we had nearly 250 people attend; we had to turn away another 100 people. The venue for this year's conference is the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, and we expect to have an even better turnout than last year.
3. Tell us who should plan to attend the conference; is it open to aero/defense companies outside of New Hampshire?
Yes! The NHAD conference committee invites companies outside of the state to attend, which will give the event a more regional appeal. The companies that should be signing up to attend this conference are aerospace and defense enterprises that develop products, technologies and services for the industry. With the theme highlighting opportunities in the international marketplace, companies should sign up if they are looking to take off into exporting, or looking for local manufacturers to deepen their international supply chain.
Service providers may also consider registering for the conference introduce themselves to a variety of businesses who all have different needs, such as legal advice, business insurance, website or marketing developer.
4. Why is there such a buzz about aero/defense in New Hampshire?
Since the beginning of aviation, New England has always been the hub for aerospace. Many of the major OEMs got their start not too far away, in Connecticut. Since then, companies have been bought out or merged and factory plants have been relocated, but the one constant is the vast number of SMEs that support the aviation industry that have stayed in the region.
In the past few years, New Hampshire has received a lot more buzz because it is one of the leading exporting states in the country for the aerospace and defense industry.
People are starting to notice, and it's through the help of the state's Department of Resources and Economic Development and organizations like NHADEC that the state is earning this recognition.
5. What are the details on deadlines, where to sign up and where to go for more information?
Registration is now open, and it's first come, first served. The deadline to register as an exhibitor is May 18 and May 31 for those who want to attend.
For more information about being an exhibitor, or to register, go to the conference website: nhadec.com/nhad-conference.