July 2, 2013 - The EAA Welcome Center at AirVenture offers members a chance to network and interact with fellow aviation enthusiasts worldwide, but is also the number one resource for all attendees of The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration.
"It is the member's home. Their voice, their opinions, their thoughts and ideas matter and the EAA Welcome Center is where all these are heard," said Janine Diana, vice president of human resources. "It is the hub and the heartbeat of the whole convention."
The EAA Welcome Center, open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, is located at the corner of Celebration Way and Knapp Street Road and provides membership services to EAA members, a place to escape the heat, and a number of different services to all AirVenture attendees.
If you have questions, the membership pit is where you want to be. Trained EAA staff and volunteers can answer any question - whether it is related to membership or simply where the nearest restrooms are located.
You can also sign up for Saturday's Runway 5K Charity Run/Walk, and pre-registered female pilots can also pick up their WomenVenture T-shirts.
The EAA Welcome Center Stage holds daily forums from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Scheduled speakers include aviation legends Col. Bud Anderson and Bob Hoover, as well as Yves "Jetman" Rossy. Presenters will be available after to sign autographs and speak with fans.
The Internet Cafe offers free public Internet access for attendees to check e-mail, surf the web, or other online activities.
Located directly next to the Internet Cafe is the Experience AirVenture booth. Here attendees can sign up for rides on some of the most iconic aircraft to ever fly, including EAA's B-17 bomber Aluminum Overcast, a Ford Tri-Motor, and Bell 47 helicopter.
This year's center attraction at the Welcome Center is EAA Founder Paul Poberezny's one-of-a-kind North American P-64 fighter. Attendees will be able to get an up close view of this iconic Oshkosh aircraft and learn the back story of how Paul acquired it and brought it to the EAA collection.
This AirVenture marks EAA's 60th anniversary, and members are invited to come down to the Welcome Center and pick up their commemorative 60th anniversary pin free of charge.
"We love to see to see our members at the Welcome Center. We love to have them stop in and tell us how we are doing," Diana said. "It also allows us the opportunity to thank them for their commitment to the organization."