In an attempt to save members both time and money, AAN has condensed the schedule of its annual convention. Next year’s convention in Pittsburgh will run from Thursday, June 5, through Sunday, June 8, deviating from the traditional Wednesday through Saturday pattern. The compressed timetable reflects recommendations made by the AAN Board at its September meeting.
At that meeting, consensus was reached to start the convention a day later, on Thursday evening, followed by programming all day Friday and Saturday. The Board also recommended moving the annual meeting, which only members may attend, from Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning.
AAN learned last week that the Pittsburgh Hilton, the host hotel for next year’s convention, will be able to accommodate those changes.
Describing the reasoning behind the moves, AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel said: “The Board looked at how we’ve been doing this in the past and said, ‘Most people have to stay over on Saturday night for the cheaper airfare, so why do we end the programming at noon on Saturday? Why not start the convention a day later and use Saturday afternoon for more seminars and speakers?’ It was one of those ‘Well, duh’ moments.”
The shorter schedule will mean lower hotel expenses and less weekday time away from the office for most attendees. In the past, registrants had to arrive on Wednesday and leave on Sunday to attend the entire convention and still qualify for the airlines’ discount leisure fares.
In another deviation from tradition, the AAN Trade Show will open Thursday afternoon, before convention programming begins, providing attendees with their first-ever uninterrupted opportunity to visit with trade-show vendors. The Trade Show will also run all day Friday.
The first official event of the 2003 convention will be a Thursday night cocktail party at the Andy Warhol Museum.