Program Announced for 2006 Annual Convention

What happens in Little Rock won’t stay in Little Rock, because you’ll be talking about the 2006 AAN Annual Convention for years to come. Where else can you hear a speech by Bill Clinton, then attend a Southern fish fry — all in the same day?

AAN has created a solid program line-up to ensure your daytime hours are productive. Seminar descriptions, as well as other information about the convention, can be viewed on the Web site at

There will be plenty of training for managers this year, from “Invigorating the Workforce: A Model For Managing People” in the business stream, to “Managing by the Numbers” in the Classified and Retail streams, to “Management Tools for Editors Who Don’t Like to Manage” in, of course, the editorial stream.

AAN also strove for substantial online-publishing programming. Presenters Michael Gold and Susan West will lead a cross-stream seminar teaching attendees to “Goof-Proof Your Web Site,” which will be followed by critiques and makeovers of volunteer sites. A panel of AAN editors will discuss “How Blogs Changed My Paper.” Bruce Dobie will introduce attendees to mobile content, widely hyped as the wave of the future, in “Where Journalism Meets the Cell Phone.” Advertising will be considered in “Free Online Classifieds: Do They Work?” and the not-to-be-missed “Internet Advertising Best Practices,” presented by Mike Blinder.

Design & production folks aren’t left out of the Internet-publishing current. For the first time, AAN is offering a seminar on Web-only software: “Introduction to Flash” will cover the basic ways Flash can be used to enhance an alt-weekly Web site, but will not include detailed instruction on using the software. “Integrated Print and Web Ad Design” will help D&P folks heading into multimedia ad territory.

To streamline the convention registration process, AAN has built a registration Web site that is integrated with It can be accessed at Members and associate members will be able to register online while still having the option to pay with credit card or check. Of course, printable forms are still available for those who prefer to mail or fax their registrations.

“AAN’s new online registration option is just that: an option,” says Debra Silvestrin, AAN’s Director of Meetings and Special Projects. “We wanted to offer an additional convenience to those who register for AAN meetings. However, registrants should feel free to use the method that works best for them and their respective organizations. Just be sure to register!”

Registrants will need an username and password to use the online system. Thus, exhibitors will not be able to register online. Newspaper representatives who are registering multiple people are strongly urged to first update their staff listings on the paper’s page. Individuals who are not listed as employees of the paper cannot be registered for the convention online and will need to be added.

If you have an account, though, the process should be simple. The Web site is even configured to allow the complimentary registrations outlined earlier, as long as the staffers being registered are in the appropriate job classifications. If you have any questions about the complimentary registrations, contact Richard Karpel at or 202-289-8484.

The convention Web site has the entire seminar schedule; be sure to check it periodically for more news and updates in the coming weeks. We have compiled some basic questions about the Little Rock conference in a FAQ, available here.

AAN also announced today that it is planning a members-only conference focused on Web publishing, to be held in the San Francisco Bay area sometime after Labor Day. Publishers, editors, and their seeing-eye dogs (Web staffers and techies) will be invited to attend. More information will be provided as details are finalized.