AAN West Scaled Back

Focus on sales and marketing

As a result of feedback from Bay Area publishers, programming at the 2002 AAN West conference will be scaled back from five streams to two.

Set for Feb. 8-9 at the Cathedral Hill Hotel in San Francisco, the conference will feature seminars for publishers and display sales personnel, but not for classified, design & production or editorial. The publishers’ stream will focus on marketing, and will be designed to benefit marketing and promotions staff as well as senior management.

“In addition to allowing publishers to concentrate their attention on an often-neglected topic, AAN West provides a networking opportunity for staff,” says AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel. “Last year it was the circulation folks, and this year it’s the marketing managers’ turn.”

In keeping with the marketing theme, AAN also will use AAN West to roll out the association’s new marketing initiative, which will include messages and materials developed by the marketing firm Abrials and Partners.

Registration materials will be mailed later this month.

The decision to trim programming was made after analyzing attendance at the two AAN conferences since Sept. 11 and after surveying the papers that send the majority of the attendees who generally attend AAN West.

Registration for the Medill writing workshop and the Classified Conference was down 50 percent from the previous year.

“We polled eight papers that accounted for more than half the total registration last year at AAN West,” Karpel says. “The feedback was mixed, but what we heard convinced us to reduce the number of programming streams from five to two.

“Clearly, the sluggish economy has had an impact,” he says. “When business conditions head south, conferences and trade shows are usually the first expenses that get cut.”

For the display sales programming, AAN has hired former newspaper-sales executive Alice Kemper, president of Sales Training Consultants, Inc.

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