Business aviation will shine this month in Geneva, Switzerland, at the annual European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE). Organizers expect the event – May 17-19 – to be the biggest yet. A record number of exhibitors will occupy an unprecedented amount of space. EBACE 2011 will attract the international business aviation community – all eager to see the latest aircraft, network with other professionals and catch up with friends.

Only in its 11th year, EBACE quickly has become the European counterpart to the National Business Aviation Association convention held each fall in the United States. Perhaps not surprising, considering NBAA co-sponsors EBACE.

Conventions offer the perfect opportunity for a business to exploit the power of new media options, as Bombardier Aerospace demonstrates with a punchy little microsite advancing its EBACE plans. The site, which comes up near the top on a quick Google search, tells EBACE visitors where to find them, what aircraft it plans to showcase, invites you to a celebratory reception – all the standard information.

Get in Touch, Stay in Touch

The site goes beyond the basics. It gives you an easy way to add Bombardier’s events to your calendar of choice, lets you sign up for announcements and updates during EBACE, encourages you to share the site on a variety of platforms and more.

In effect, Bombardier seeks to create its own community within the larger EBACE audience. The company ensures that it’s communicating with its most important constituency, and individuals at EBACE can be assured they won’t miss anything.

The important lesson here is that these new media are not broad-brush solutions. Instead, they are increasingly precise tools. As with all tools, you have to use them to fully understand their power – and their limitations. Our best advice: get started. Go slow and evaluate. Adjust and keep at it.

Sink or Soar

Twitter doesn’t serve all needs. But it delivers immediacy like nothing else can. Facebook is no panacea. But it’s hard to imagine the company that can’t find it a relationship builder. The list of tools keeps growing and changing. You can become overwhelmed and throw up your hands. Or you can see it as your most savvy competitors do: endless possibilities.

Meanwhile, if you plan to visit EBACE: Tap out the tweets. Finesse your Facebook page. Follow your friends. You’ll have more fun, you’ll make more efficient use of your time. And you just might start thinking, “You know, we could …”