Members Again Eligible for Free Registrations to AAN Convention

For the second year in a row, AAN is offering its members up to two free registrations per paper to attend the association’s annual convention.

The AAN Board of Directors approved the complimentary registrations to this year’s convention in Little Rock, Ark., after a recent financial report indicated that the organization ended its fiscal year 2005 with a surplus of $40,285. (AAN’s fiscal year ends September 30.) AAN also offered its members two free registrations to last year’s convention in San Diego after the association generated a healthy surplus in fiscal year 2004.

The AAN CAN classified network was the primary driver of both surpluses, accounting for over 72 percent of the association’s revenue.

The complimentary registrations are restricted to specific support staff at qualifying member papers, and are available under the following conditions: Member papers that purchase at least one registration to the convention may register a classified advertising staffer for free.

  • Member papers that purchase at least two registrations may register a Web staffer for free.
  • To qualify for the complimentary registrations, employees must spend a significant portion of their time working in the classified or electronic publishing department on an ongoing basis. Free registrations must be confirmed in advance through the normal registration process; they will not be available on-site at the convention.

    The Board restricted the free registrations to specific departments for policy reasons. The first complimentary registration was tied to classified departments as a reward for their participation in the AAN CAN network. The second registration was aimed at Web staffers to encourage member papers to focus on their online operations. There will be a significant emphasis on programming relating to the Internet at this year’s convention.

    The convention will be held June 15-17. Programming will begin at 3:00 pm on Thursday, June 15, and will end at 6:00 pm on Saturday, June 17. In addition to former president Bill Clinton, host paper Arkansas Times has confirmed that Arkansas natives Susan McDougal and Gen. Wesley Clark have agreed to speak at the convention. Ms. McDougal was a former business partner of the ex-president, who granted her a pardon after she spent time in jail for refusing to answer questions from prosecutors in the Whitewater case.

    The social events at this year’s convention will highlight Little Rock’s culture and political history. The welcome reception on Thursday, June 15, sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau, will be held at the Clinton Presidential Center. On Friday night, convention-goers will congregate for a reception at the Arkansas Arts Center. And on Saturday, the folks at Arkansas Times are organizing a going-away dinner, Southern-hospitality style.

    As always, the convention will also feature a trade show where suppliers will demonstrate their products and services. Exhibitor packets have already been mailed; please contact Debra Silvestrin if you would like one or you know someone who is interested.

    The cost of a convention registration is the same as last year: $295/person for AAN members and $425/person for non-members until the early registration deadline on April 28. After that date, the cost will be $345/person for AAN members and $475/person for non-members. Those rates have not increased since the 1998 convention in Washington, D.C.

    For the first time ever, AAN members will be able to register and pay for the convention over the Internet. AAN’s new online registration system is set to debut early next month. Additional details about convention programming will be announced when the new Web site goes live.