Tallahassee International Airport will be the site of a big national airports conference this coming spring. Officials say it will be a showcase for the local facility, which has been lobbying heavily for more low-cost air carriers.
Director of Aviation Chris Curry said the 2016 Airports Conference is organized by Sixel Consulting, the Oregon-based firm that has been helping market the Capital City’s airport. “They were responsible for writing the Small Community Service Development Grant that we just received; $750,000 to attract United Airline service to Houston. They were also part of the rebranding effort that came with the international (airport designation) and they’ve been providing us air service assistance over the past several years.” That work included a promotional video Sixel produced for the Tallahassee airport. And now Curry said that company will hold its next Airports Conference in the Capital City. “Well I think the real excitement for us is that we get to bring all of the airline network planners to the city of Tallahassee to see it up close and personal. There’s no other way to get them collectively to come to your community unless it’s attendance at a national conference.” Curry insisted these important decision-makers won’t be spending their whole time hanging out at the airport. “It’s a three-day conference. They get to see different parts of the community and it really helps me as I continue to educate them about the community because I’ve been doing this almost two years explaining to them and telling them how vibrant the city of Tallahassee is, so now they can see it for themselves.” Curry said it took a truly coordinated effort to get the event locked in. “The City of Tallahassee, Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce, Visit Florida, Visit Tallahassee…they’re all partners so we also have the hotels that are part of this, so if not for community participation, we would not have been able to pull this off.” The estimated immediate economic impact from the event is just under one-hundred thousand dollars. Curry thinks the long-haul return could be many factors of magnitude greater.