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NBAA says its virtual events are the way forward
In light of this year's events, NBAA is taking its Q1 2021 events online. The Flight Operations Conference is set for February and a Leadership Summit will take place in March, after a virtual NBAA-BACE rounds off 2020.

NBAA has announced two new, virtual events for the first quarter of 2021, designed to bring people together with speakers, educational content and other offerings that will provide a roadmap for surviving and thriving in an ever-changing environment. The new events will replace the in-person conferences planned for Q1 2021.

NBAA's new Flight Operations Conference, scheduled for 23-25 February, will gather schedulers, dispatchers, pilots and others focused on mission planning, including for international operations. Separately, the association's new Leadership Summit, taking place 24-25 March, will bring together current and emerging business aviation innovators.

“These new events will offer exciting opportunities for industry professionals to refine and rethink their business planning, and even their very definition of success, in a world upended by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Mike Nichols, NBAA senior VP of strategy and innovation. “With these conferences, we are going to plan not just for working through the current crisis, but for leading out of it.”

The new, virtual NBAA GO events will be hosted on an advanced and immersive technology platform. The platform will allow attendees, presenters, sponsors and exhibitors to network strategically through direct person-to-person meeting rooms, virtual 3D exhibit booths and dedicated subject matter lounges.

Nichols noted that sessions featured at the NBAA GO Flight Operations Conference will focus on a range of essential topics, including in-depth weather planning, tax compliance, charter operations, new protocols as we emerge from the pandemic and a world-wide review of constantly shifting international requirements for business aviation. Attendees will also have access to a dynamic exhibit hall, where a host of virtual exhibitors will feature new products, share information about how technologies and practices are evolving, in some cases on a permanent basis, and address ground and flight-planning support, technology solutions and other business aviation services.

Similarly, the NBAA GO Leadership Summit will address strategies for leading through challenging times and circumstances. The speakers will be recognised experts on topics including change leadership strategies, preserving team emotional intelligence, promoting health and well-being and ensuring connectivity and accountability. Several have authored widely acclaimed books, which will be provided in electronic or hard-bound format to Leadership Summit participants.

The NBAA GO events incorporate enhanced networking and attendee engagement in the conference programme, including attendee guidance by industry leaders, bonus content offers and resources from speakers, peer-to-peer learning opportunities with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion and content specifically designed for emerging leaders.

The industry is also preparing for the curtain to rise on NBAA's first-ever Virtual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (VBACE). “We are very pleased to see that the most innovative companies in business aviation have chosen VBACE as the state-of-the-art platform to strategically connect with their customers and clients,” says NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen. “To those who have wanted to attend any aviation convention this year, it's clear that only VBACE will offer access to the best business opportunities, all in one place.”

Bolen noted that the VBACE exhibiting lineup features a host of OEMS, including Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier, Cirrus, Collins Aerospace, Dassault, Embraer, Honda Aircraft Company, Honeywell, Pilatus, Pratt & Whitney, Textron and others.

Also on hand are service providers, including well-known names in fuel delivery, flight planning, avionics and mission support. More than a dozen companies are exhibiting at VBACE for the first time at any NBAA show, highlighting the opportunities to be found on the virtual platform.

Held online from 2-3 December, the event's interactive booths will provide for demonstrations, one-on-one video meetings, resources highlighting products and services, virtual backpacks for attendees and more. All VBACE exhibitors can be easily located through NBAA's detailed VBACE directory.

VBACE is also the only virtual business aviation convention that will offer a full slate of session content, custom-tailored to this COVID moment and beyond. Sessions include what the 2020 elections and other policy developments mean for industry; how advanced air mobility and other technologies are re-shaping business aviation; and what those new to business aircraft utilisation need to know.

VBACE will also feature a Day One Keynote with critically acclaimed singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley, a nationwide headliner who knows the value of connecting with people the world over.

“The business aviation community has been seeking ways to connect throughout this challenging year,” notes Chris Strong, NBAA senior VP of conventions and membership. “As we ready for the show's opening day, it's clear VBACE will offer an unmatched opportunity for everyone in the industry to chart their course for the year ahead.”

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