First AAN Classified Conference Well Attended

Initial feedback "overwhelmingly positive."

The first-ever AAN Classified Advertising Conference held this past weekend in Dallas was deemed a success by its organizers, in part because of an unexpectedly large turnout.

AAN’s Director of Operations and Special Projects Debra Silvestrin said more than 90 publishers, ad directors and classified managers attended the two-day conference. She said the response from attendees was “overwhelmingly positive.”

“The all-day seminars were both especially well received,” Silvestrin said, referring to Kathryn Thornton’s small-paper planning workshop and Andrew Wetzler’s seminar on telesales management.

AAN Vice President Russ Martineau — who is also vice president of sales and marketing for Portland’s Willamette Week — served as chairperson of the classified committee that organized the event. He said it was important for AAN to host this conference because classified advertising is a vital issue for alternative weeklies.

“We want to make sure everybody understands classified advertising is more than phone sex,” Martineau said. “There is a world of opportunity that a lot of papers — a lot of AAN papers — have not taken advantage of. While it requires hard work and investment, it is one that will pay back a big dividend.”