AAN West to Attract a Record Crowd

MicroVoice to Sponsor the Saturday Night Shindig.

Hundreds of foreign people will be walking the streets of San Francisco come the last weekend in January. That’s because 1999’s AAN West Conference — which will take place Jan. 29-30 at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway Hotel — is attracting a record number of participants.

Last year, 376 people attended the conference. Preliminary registration figures for this year’s gathering (“Tools of the Trade”) suggest well over 400 people will attend.

The Pacific Sun, the second oldest alternative newspaper in the country, is the host of this year’s event.

The conference is primarily designed as a nuts and bolts affair for newsweekly staffers. However, that doesn’t mean the conference will be void of social charms, says AAN Operations and Special Projects Director Debra Silvestrin.

“In addition to learning from some of the best minds in the business, attendees will also have ample time to socialize,” Silvestrin says. “The conference will be capped off by a cocktail party on Saturday night, hosted by [the telepersonals company] MicroVoice. Last year, MicroVoice sponsored the Saturday night party and it was a great success.”

The ’99 AAN West Conference will feature programming on business, classifieds, design and production, editorial and display advertising.

Late additions to the schedule include a Friday afternoon presentation by Timothy J. Franks, one of the attorneys representing publishers in the San Francisco newsrack case; and a Friday afternoon copyright and libel seminar for design and production staff. In addition, Riverfront Times Editor Safir Ahmed will replace Washington City Paper’s David Carr as the moderator of the Saturday afternoon town hall meeting on journalism ethics. Carr was forced to cancel his appearance due to illness.

Paul Krassner, the counter-culture Renaissance man who dropped acid with Ken Kesey and Groucho Marx, and co-founded the Yippies with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, will speak at Saturday’s luncheon.

The conference ends on Saturday evening with the MicroVoice-sponsored cocktail reception.