Behind the Scenes: How does the SC Aerospace conference come together?

aerospace2016-0344It seems like just yesterday that we wrapped up the third annual SC Aerospace Conference & Expo, but we’re already hard at work on planning next year’s conference. So how exactly does South Carolina’s Aerospace Conference & Expo come together?

aerospace2016-0323The event is unique in that it brings together a collaboration of different organizations for a common goal – to support and grow South Carolina’s aerospace cluster.  Each year, the Council on Competitiveness and its initiative SC Aerospace work with four other organizations – the University of South Carolina’s Ronald E. McNair Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission, the South Carolina Aviation Association and the South Carolina Department of Commerce – to pull together industry, academic and government leaders to showcase South Carolina’s rapidly growing aerospace cluster.

The planning process begins with a debrief and review of the previous conference and what worked and having an honest discussion about our opportunities for improvement.  Throughout the year, we all keep files and notes on topics and speakers we want to consider including in the conference.  We see what has “stickiness” with the group and we begin to reach out to potential speakers.  SC Aerospace takes the lead on the business track and the McNair team takes the lead on the technical track.  We also divide up outreach to potential sponsors.  Our outreach starts in January to begin to secure sponsors and keynote speakers. As speakers agree to present and the program begins to take shape, we work to organize the sessions.

Once the program is created, our communications committee creates a content calendar for announcements and key information we want to share about the conference. Our team at the Council leads the creation of email marketing, social media messaging and press outreach and partnerships leading up to the event.

cqopzzzwyaa1y5a-1Once the week of the conference arrives, it’s all hands on deck. The Council’s team handles all press inquiries and sets up the conference’s media command center day-of. Our team is also the primary source for social media content and live updates from the conference. The McNair team along with USC handles the registration process and working with the AV group to make sure the presentations are loaded and running properly.  The South Carolina Aviation Association takes the lead on planning the dinner event and the Department of Commerce facilitates the B2B event.  It truly is a team effort and we are extremely proud of the partnership and spirit of cooperation all the partners demonstrate during the process.  

We are already looking forward to making the 2017 event the best ever! Don’t forget to mark your calendars for August 29 – 31 to join us for the 2017 SC Aerospace Conference & Expo.