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Integration Spotlight: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

Integration Spotlight: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

There is one driving purpose behind the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA): “to ignite and celebrate aerospace ingenuity and collaboration.”

With over eighty years of advocacy, education, and public policy experience, AIAA is the professional society dedicated to professionals in aerospace. Their members are associated with virtually every technical milestone in modern American flight.

AIAA boasts over 30,000 individual members from 88 countries. Additionally, they facilitate the professional development of 95 corporate members. This elite group of scientists, engineers, and allied professionals conceive, design, develop, and test air and space vehicles and related energy and communication systems. AIAA members are active in every part of the industry’s many innovative breakthroughs. Today’s AIAA members are working professionals who build upon aerospace industry knowledge thanks to in-person events and archives dating back to the early 1900s.

Shaping the Future of Aerospace

AIAA initially selected OpenWater Awards to manage recognition programs across eight disciplines. AIAA’s competitive awards showcase the organization’s influence across the aerospace industry. Each category has several awards in sub-categories, too. In the Publication category, for example, there are six specialized awards because AIAA is the preeminent publisher of aerospace books and journals.

Quickly, though, AIAA recognized the OpenWater platform’s unique strengths.

In addition to offering an out-of-the-box solution for award management, OpenWater is infinitely customizable. This realization led AIAA to customize OpenWater in-house for several other unrelated programs.

But first, they needed a specific, custom integration.

Custom Integrations with NetFORUM

To start, AIAA needed integration with NetFORUM. Yes, the process took some (actual) rocket scientists.

NetForum is Association Management Software (AMS) used by membership-driven organizations. AMS software is an important component of member acquisition, engagement, and retention. AIAA needed this integration for internal cross-functionality.

AIAA’s rocket scientist representatives worked with OpenWater programmers. Together, they created a custom integration. Both platforms quickly and securely exchange important information.

“Working with AIAA was instructional. The custom integration really expanded how the client could use OpenWater. This is extremely valuable for them in the long haul,” explains Zack Schwartz, who spearheaded the collaborative effort.



This screenshot shows an OpenWater custom integration. Here, it pulls in identifying data associated with a name (e.g., email address).


AIAA worked with OpenWater to create a seamless NetFORUM custom integration. This ensures the swift data exchange necessary to maintain and grow membership programs.

Today, AIAA uses OpenWater Growth Stack, the all-in-one platform. AIAA uses Growth Stack to manage a diverse set of membership-driven programs. This includes awards, scholarships, grants, and fellowships. Recently, they’ve broadened to use Growth Stack for conference registration.

Further, the AIAA project established the basis of the OpenWater Partner Program. Membership-driven organizations benefit from the AMS partner program. The program provides out-of-the-box integrations with all leading AMS (Aptify, Community Brands, NetFORUM, NimbleAMS, and YourMembership). No rocket scientists required!

Katie is OpenWater's Content Director. Her interests include entrepreneurship, permaculture, and blockchain. She enjoys spicy food and salty words.

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