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Know Your AFCEA Benefits: Chapter Participation

November 15, 2011
By Jordan Garegnani, SIGNAL Connections

AFCEA currently has more than 125 chapters and subchapters in more than 30 countries worldwide. These chapters are usually located near government and military installations, providing a convenient place where industry and government can meet in an ethical forum to discuss government’s technology needs and industry’s solutions.

When a person or company joins AFCEA, they choose which chapter they wish to be affiliated with by country, region or U.S. state online. Individual members can change their chapter affiliation at any time online through the member portal, while corporate associates should contact their organization’s corporate point of contact to request this change. Companies are encouraged to affiliate their designated AFCEA members in several local chapters near their current and future customers and partners. Although most members officially affiliate with only one chapter, all are welcome to attend activities in other chapters.

Initially connecting with other chapter members is easy. Frequently, newcomers are presented or introduced at the first chapter meeting they attend to ensure members of the community know one another. In all cases, volunteering to participate in chapter activities will create strong connections with other members. Most AFCEA chapters have their own websites with information on current offerings, structure and leadership contacts. Chapter participation helps individuals and organizations interact with the entire AFCEA International network. Relationships with industry colleagues, clients, partners and prospects are created and strengthened through participation in chapter events, including general meetings, symposia, luncheons and scholarship award ceremonies, among others.

While individual members benefit from joining AFCEA from the networking opportunities available at the chapter and global level, corporate members also benefit from the prestige of being a part of the AFCEA brand. Both individual and corporate members gain visibility at the local level by participating in chapter activities, working side by side with government and industry counterparts at chapter events, and being recognized as an active AFCEA supporter at the chapter level.

“The members that put time and effort into chapter participation get the most out of their affiliation,” states Curt Adams, senior director for member and chapter services, AFCEA International. “Members often tell us that the greatest level of personal satisfaction and return on investment comes from rolling up their sleeves and working on a chapter committee or event. Active participation within these smaller groups can result in greater recognition, visibility and networking on a more personalized level as well as allowing members to give back to the community.”

Information about individual chapters is available online.