Mark Your Calendars: AAN’s 2010 Convention Hits Toronto This July

The 33rd annual AAN Convention is heading north to Toronto, where NOW Magazine will host a three-day gathering of enlightening programming, unforgettable parties and crucial networking with your AAN peers.

Toronto last hosted the AAN convention in 1998.

“Some attendees of [that] convention are still struggling to remember just how they ended up in speakeasies at sunrise with NOW staff,” NOW editor/publisher Michael Hollett says in a welcome message, “but my co-host and business partner Alice Klein and I are confident they do have clearer memories of just how welcoming and non-stop fun Toronto was and how worthwhile the convention itself proved to be.”

The convention starts on the afternoon of July 15 and wraps up on July 17 with the annual meeting and a closing reception.

While the programming is still being hammered out, some early highlights are coming into focus.

In the editorial stream, Mike Webb from ProPublica will be sharing tools the investigative nonprofit news organization has developed that can help your paper’s reporting.

Sales reps and managers will want to check out Tangent Knowledge Systems president Richard Farrell’s presentation, “Selling Has Nothing to Do with Selling,” which outlines his unique non-selling sales process that focuses more on customer relationships than the hard sell.

Andrew Martin of Borrell Associates will outline the results of a survey of AAN members the research firm is about to conduct regarding online advertising revenues. The survey, which is going out to publishers and ad directors today will help AAN members understand where they are at with web revenues as compared to industry peers.

And what would a 2010 journalism gathering be without a session on the ubiquitous iPad? Village Voice Media’s Bill Jensen will moderate a panel on the opportunities presented for alt-weeklies by the latest offering from Apple. Outside experts like Raven Zachary and AAN members who are looking into iPad development and business opportunities will talk about the potential that this emerging arena of new mobile devices holds.

Also on the agenda this year is a special Town Hall meeting on the idea of admitting online publications into the association. Such a change, which came out of the association’s most recent long-range planning process, would require only a slight adjustment of AAN’s bylaws, since many of the membership requirements would remain the same. The meeting will be a great opportunity for any members excited by, or concerned about, this potential move to weigh in.

This year, AAN is offering a special registration incentive, with every three AAN member registrations earning a fourth one free (with no limit). Rates for AAN members are $325 per person for early registration (deadline of June 18), and $375 after. For non-members, registration rates are $425 if booked before June 18, and $475 after that date.

The convention will be held in the Hilton Toronto, and AAN has secured a guest room rate of $139 (Canadian), which is good until June 21.

Transportation to Toronto is easy, with many flights offered by Air Canada, the official airline for the convention. The airline offers plenty of flights in and out of its Toronto hub, and is offering a special discount on some flights for convention-goers. Attendees from the U.S. may also consider flying into Buffalo and making the 2-hour car drive or bus trip to Toronto. Coach Canada and Megabus offer service from Buffalo Airport to downtown Toronto.

All U.S. attendees will need passports or passport cards to get back into the country, regardless of how you enter Canada. If you’ve got a passport, go ahead and check that expiration date. If you don’t, go ahead and start the application process now if you plan on attending the convention.

Look for more details on all thing convention here on in the weeks and months to come.