At its meeting this weekend in San Antonio, the AAN Board of Directors approved plans for the association’s first-ever AAN East regional conference. The event will be held Feb. 6-7, 2004 in Washington, D.C.
The Board also signed off on the dates for this year’s AAN West conference, which will be held Jan. 23-24, 2004 in San Francisco.
Like AAN West, the Washington, D.C. conference will be held over the course of a day-and-a-half, beginning on Friday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. and concluding the following day at 5 p.m. In addition, it will be designed for rank-and-file staff who don’t have an opportunity to attend the annual convention, with programming for retail advertising and classified sales representatives; writers and reporters; and design and production personnel.
Prior to the Board meeting, AAN staff surveyed East Coast publishers to determine whether there was interest in a regional conference. Although there wasn’t enough support from member papers to make it work in either Atlanta or Charlotte, several papers within driving distance of the nation’s capital made a commitment to send a significant contingent to the conference.
“Regional conferences like this only work if attendees can get there inexpensively,” says AAN Executive Director Richard Karpel. “From New York to South Carolina, there are a number of AAN papers that can drive or take the train to D.C.”
The registration rates for both AAN East and AAN West will be the same as they’ve been at AAN West since at least 1998, when the association’s staff assumed responsibility for organizing the event. The fee for early registrations will be $150 for the first person from each member paper, and $75 for each additional registrant from the same paper. The early rate for non-member registrations will be $200.
Each registration includes access to the entire conference, including programming, social events and coffee breaks. Both conferences will include a lunch featuring a keynote speaker. Past keynotes at AAN West have included speakers like San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown and writer-satirist Paul Krassner.
Registration materials, including programming and hotel information, will be mailed to AAN papers no later than Dec. 1.