AAN Announces Film-Industry Event in Los Angeles

On Sept. 14, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies will host a cocktail reception for film-industry clients on the roof of the Bel Age Hotel in Los Angeles. The theme will be “AANtourage,” after the HBO series “Entourage.”

The purpose of the event is twofold, explains Carol Flagg, advertising director at the Austin Chronicle and a member of AAN’s Marketing Committee. “First, it replaces what we used to accomplish at ShoWest — face time with the movie agencies and studio people out of Los Angeles,” Flagg says, referencing AAN’s previous participation in a theater-owners’ convention held each year in Las Vegas. “Second, with the consolidation of movie-agency business over the past several years, many of the regional agencies that we used to visit on a regular basis are no longer placing the media buys. This party will allow us to introduce ourselves directly to the L.A. agencies that place this business.”

“AANtourage is a way for us to update our partners in the film business on the status of our industry and thank them for their support of our efforts,” adds Southland Publishing Vice President and Director of Sales Charles Gerencser, a Marketing Committee member who has been instrumental in planning the event.

AAN will send invitations to agency and studio contacts as well as create a marketing piece for distribution at the event. Individual member papers can add their own clients to the guest list by sending contact information to AAN Director of Sales and Marketing Roxanne Cooper no later than August 15, 2006.

“Most of the marketing efforts for AAN are focused on promoting its unique editorial content,” says Marketing Chair Jim Rizzi, publisher of Salt Lake City Weekly. “This is one of our first attempts at organizing an industry party to create a marketing and sales opportunity for AAN papers, and we’re very excited about it.”

In addition to gourmet food, an open bar, and entertainment, AANtourage will feature high-end door prizes donated by AAN members. Each newspaper that contributes a prize — “[we’re looking for] the kind of stuff you might find in a presenter basket at the Oscars or Grammys,” Gerencser says — will receive additional branded recognition at the party.

“So far we have secured a trip to Maui thanks to the San Francisco Bay Guardian, a weekend of skiing at Snowbird Resort courtesy of Salt Lake City Weekly, and all-access passes to the SXSW Film Festival from Austin Chronicle,” Rizzi says.

AANtourage will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Each AAN member may send a maximum of two representatives, and pre-registration is required. For more information or to reserve a spot, contact Roxanne Cooper at rcooper@aan.org or 202-289-8484. A code for a discounted Bel Age room rate of $189 per night will be provided to AANtourage participants at pre-registration.