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122 Marketing Guidebook for Small Airports Remember, networking is the art of building alliances and important relationships over time through various means. Thus, the business, civic, and non-profit networking opportunities identified in this chapter are just a beginning. Be creative and look to your community for valuable networking opportunities that will benefit the airport. 12.2 NETWORKING WITH PROFESSIONAL AND INDUSTRY ORGANIZATIONS Effectiveness Cost Commercial Service General Aviation $ Definition: Membership in professional organizations offers invaluable networking opportunities for small com- mercial and general aviation airports. Participating in professional conferences, seminars, and meetings allows airport managers to perfect their skills and keep up to date with others working in the industry. There are many professional organizations that offer opportunities for airport managers to network with col- leagues, industry experts, aviation consultants, and other champions of small commercial and general aviation airports. Many of these organizations also offer professional development courses. The following is a list of some of those organizations: AAAE: American Association of Airport Executives ACINA: Airports Council InternationalNorth America ACRP: Airport Cooperative Research Program AOPA: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association EAA: Experimental Aircraft Association GAMA: General Aviation Manufacturers Association HAI: Helicopter Association International IATA: International Air Transport Association Airport Advisors NASAO: National Association of State Aviation Officials NATA: The National Air Transportation Association NBAA: National Business Aviation Association PAMA: Professional Aviation Maintenance Association State Airport Operators Associations TRB: Transportation Research Board All these organizations sponsor conferences and have active committees that are fertile ground for networking among industry leaders, experts, and relevant businesses. Each has its own mission and goals, membership size, annual dues as well as products and services available to its membership. The amount of information that is available on each organization's website is substantial. Thus, readers are urged to visit these websites to learn more about each organization before making a decision to join. The following questions can help you determine which professional organizations are right for you: First, what are your expectations for joining a specific organization? Does the organization actually provide the specific type and level of support you need?