Classified Conference Program Announced

Registration forms mailed Friday for the Nov. 3-4 conference in Dallas.

Everything is bigger in Texas, including the opportunities for growth that AAN publishers and ad directors will contemplate when AAN hosts its first-ever Classified Advertising Conference in Dallas on November 3-4. The conference will be held at Le Meridien, an upscale hotel near the city’s West End, where the help is just as likely to greet visitors with “bon jour” as “howdy.”

The two-day conference will begin Friday afternoon, Nov. 3, with a presentation by financial standards guru Seija Goldstein, who will present the results of the recent classified advertising survey.

Following Goldstein will be two classified advertising experts from the big dailies’ trade organization. Newspaper Association of America (NAA) Recruitment Advertising Director Charles S. Diederich will look at industry trends in the recruitment marketplace and will share tips about how alternative newsweeklies can increase their share of this key classified category. NAA Real Estate Advertising and Online Classified Director Kevin McCourt will talk about how consumer expectations and evaluations shape the $61 billion classified marketplace; where the battleground for classified revenue is taking place; and which marketing and technology strategies ensure a prosperous future for publishers in print and on the Web.

On Saturday, Nov. 4, two programs will run simultaneously, one for papers with a small classified staff and one for larger papers.

For small papers, sales consultant Kathryn Thornton will present a comprehensive approach to growing an alternative newspaper classified department. Ms. Thornton will discuss each of the main classified categories and will also address specific issues like marketing and promotion; design; hiring and personnel management; compensation structures; classified technology and infrastructure; and sales training.

The large-paper program will be presented by Andrew Wetzler, whose firm specializes in the development of in-house call centers. His telesales workshop will cover recruiting and training new reps; coaching, monitoring and motivating staff; compensation and retention strategies; and technology-effectiveness management.

AAN also managed to slip a cocktail party into the information-intensive weekend. Faithful AAN benefactor MicroVoice will sponsor the Friday evening affair. ZeusLogic, Inc., creator of an online service that allows advertisers to submit all types of ads through the Internet with the option of instant credit card verification, will spring for a continental breakfast Saturday morning.

Registration fees are $150 for AAN members, $300 for non-members with revenues under $1 million, and $595 for all other non-member companies. (Regular AAN CAN participants receive one free registration.) Registration forms were mailed Friday to publishers, classified managers and ad directors. Attendees can also register online by visiting AAN Interactive at and clicking on Classified Conference in the Resources Section.

AAN has blocked rooms at Le Meridien for Nov. 3-4. Le Meridien is located in Dallas’ central business district, just blocks away from the West End and Deep Ellum entertainment areas. The special AAN rate, which expires Oct. 9, is $125 for a single or double and $140 for a triple. When you call the hotel at 214-979-9000 to make reservations, ask for the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Classified Conference rate.