Monday, November 16, 2009

Selecting the Venue for the AECT Annual Convention

In my short time on the Executive Committee and the Board, I have heard many discussions about the venue, and the number one priority for the Board has been keeping the cost (both hotel and travel) to a minimum. When the city is considered, ticket prices purchased from multiple points are estimated. The maximum hotel room rate that AECT will consider is set to $160 before taxes, including free Internet. This restriction rules out a great many hotels that have the required facilities near airports in cities that have low cost airlines flying in and out. It was precisely the low cost of going to Anaheim that is taking us there again in 2010 and probably in 2013. We have been searching very seriously and diligently for other options in the West but as yet have not found any.

These decisions are not made in back alleys or behind closed doors. We do encourage and invite feedback - you can always send your ideas on conference venue and other matters to me directly or to your division president or both. The decision to go to Jacksonville in 2011 and 2014 was based on member feedback that Orlando was too expensive. We searched for and found a good replacement for Orlando in Jacksonville, which is very affordable. We are still looking for a suitable replacement for Anaheim. Please realize that we have to make the decisions several years in advance and most hotels will sign only when a return visit is part of the deal. Keeping the costs to a minimum while providing a suitable and inviting venue are our primary concerns.

Here are the already planned venues:

2010 - Anaheim
2011 - Jacksonville
2012 - Louisville
2013 - Anaheim
2014 - Jacksonville

This is typical of how far out venues are selected - in part due to the fact that hotels are usually booked two years in advance and also in part to the fact to get the rates we need, the hotels generally want to have two conference visits on the contract. We will continue to listen to and involve the membership in selecting conference venues, but we do need a lot of lead time. Let your voices be heard.

4 comments:

  1. I recently returned from the New Jersey Association for School Librarians (NJASL) annual meeting in East Brunswick. The conference is about the same size as AECT and was held at the Hilton with conference rates around $115 - very affordable. It was an excellent meeting with outstanding keynote speakers. I think we would draw from NJASL membership if were to meet in New Jersey at some point - and I would recommend doing so as it would be very affordable and could be arranged so that participants might escape for an evening in Manhattan at some point.

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  3. Thanks for posting this. I know that during my short term on the board, I have realized how the board takes everything into consideration (sometimes agonizingly so) when making the selection of the convention venue....always in the best interest of the AECT members. Hopefully, this will help everyone understand what goes into making this important decision.

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