Registration Open for Georgia’s Supplier Opportunities and Aerospace Resources Conference in Macon

Kim Wade

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Georgia has more than 800 aerospace companies, according to Amy Hudnall, director of the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Center of Innovation for Aerospace, and a new economic impact assessment of Georgia’s aerospace industry from Georgia Tech shows an economic output of $64.5 Billion in FY 2015.

Aerospace parts were the top export for the state of Georgia, accounting for $7.9 billion in exports last year, and Aerospace has been the number one export since 2004.

“Everyone thinks it’s poultry or peanuts, but it’s not —it’s planes and parts,” Hundall said.

In order to connect Georgia aerospace and defense suppliers with potential partners and resources to increase their capabilities and meet the needs of the global marketplace, the Supplier Opportunities and Aerospace Resources (SOAR) Conference will take place in Macon this year. The event is April 20 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at Middle Georgia State University. There will also be a Welcome Networking Reception on April 19 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Professional Sciences Conference Center at Middle State Georgia University. Registration is required and includes reception, lunch, networking, industry panels and supplier development sessions. More information can be found at

“We are providing this event so that people can take time to make an investment in their business and get a lot done in one day. They can also meet potential business collaborators, and attend development sessions on topics relevant to their business’ growth,” she said. 

Hudnall added that once registration is completed online, guests can choose to complete a Fast Pitch profile and be considered for 1:1 speed networking sessions with Airbus, Delta Air Lines, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Lockheed Martin and Meggitt Training Systems.  Companies must register for the FAST pitch opportunity by April 5.

The development sessions included in this year’s event are short and focused on building skills for attendees. The sessions cover a broad selection of topics including using LinkedIn for marketing, financing for small businesses, HR tips for small businesses and contract data mining.  There will also be a session on international trade and how the Department of Economic Development’s trade division can help businesses find new markets overseas.

The event is a culmination of a statewide partnership including The Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Tech Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Macon Economic Development Commission, Georgia Tech Procurement Assistance Center, university of Georgia Small Business Development Center, Georgia Power, the GUARD Initiative and the National Defense Industry Association.

Hudnall added that they hosted SOAR in Savannah in 2015 and her office received rave reviews from industry professionals. “One client said he gained more information in one hour at SOAR than he had by hiring a consultant and spending a good deal of money.

“It’s an action packed one day investment in your business. We set it up that way because small business owners can’t get away for a week-long conference. In one day at SOAR, you can access tons of resources in once space and build connections to new business opportunities ...”