by Janet Dickelman
The American Council of the Blind will hold its 53rd annual conference and convention in Las Vegas, Nev., July 11-19. It will be a fantastic week of programs, exhibits, tours, and fun.
In Las Vegas you will find the latest new technology; information on education, career, and leisure-time opportunities; and updates on issues facing people with vision loss of all ages and from every walk of life. You can attend special programs and events for students, families, senior citizens, braille readers, and people who are dealing with losing their vision. Attend meetings for attorneys, teachers, small-business owners, artists, computer programmers, and other professionals, and so much more
The 2014 ACB conference and convention gives businesses and agencies a chance to let people from all over the country and around the world know about their products and services. Register today for premium, tabletop and affiliate booth space. The exhibit hall will be bustling from opening day (Saturday, July 12) until Wednesday, July 15.
Exhibitors will receive special discounts on advertising and premium booth specials on registration bag inserts.
Marketplace tables will once again be available in Las Vegas. Marketplace is open one hour before the start of each weekday general session, and 90 minutes before Sunday evening's opening session. This is a great opportunity for an affiliate or committee to sell items or distribute material.
Small businesses may want to consider Marketplace if they don't have the time or resources for the exhibit hall. As a reminder, no food items can be sold or given away in the exhibit hall or at Marketplace. For information on exhibits and Marketplace, contact Michael Smitherman; his contact information is shown at the end of this article.
Advertising and Sponsorships
Once again this year there will be many outstanding opportunities to let attendees and folks at home know about your products and services. Color and black-and-white program pages, newspaper advertising, and ACB Radio spots and features are great ways to get the word out to potential customers.
New this year: Business Cards — an inexpensive way to provide contact information for your business at a glance! List your business name, e-mail address, phone number and web site in the conference and convention program.
Conference sponsors (our gems) have a unique opportunity to add their logos and names to workshops, seminars, educational and leisure activities, youth and teen programs, and convention services. These are high visibility opportunities, with lots of extras such as program and newspaper ads, listings on the official convention T-shirt and sponsor board in general session, and features on ACB Radio. It's great for businesses and affiliates; there are levels from pearl ($1,000) to double diamond ($25,000), and all gems in between. For information on advertising and sponsorships, contact Margarine Beaman; her contact information is shown at the end of this article.
Salute Someone Special
This year there are two ways in which you will be able to acknowledge someone special, ACB Heroes and ACB recognition pages. Every state, special-interest affiliate, or chapter has a special person who has played a significant role or made a huge impact on your group. Let them know how special they are by sharing their stories and accomplishments with everyone reading the convention program.
Heroes pages enjoy special placement in the program. Pages can include a photograph of your special person and details about his or her accomplishments. These pages are printed in color.
Recognition pages are a smaller version of the Heroes page. They are printed in black and white and cannot exceed one page. Recognition pages are the perfect place to recognize that special member of your affiliate, local scholarship winner or anyone you feel deserves a special acknowledgment.
Our expanded table of contents will list all program advertisers and hero and recognition pages so that readers can quickly locate the information. Contact Margarine Beaman for additional details; her contact information is at the end of this article.
When scheduling an event at the 2014 conference and convention, please keep the following times in mind. Breakfasts begin at 7:00; lunches begin at 12:15. There are five convention session times. Session one (1:15 to 2:30) is reserved for special-interest affiliates. Sessions two (2:45 to 4:00) and three (4:15 to 5:30) are open to special-interest affiliates and ACB committees. Sessions four (5:45 to 7:00) and five (7:15 to 8:30) are available to affiliates, committees and others not affiliated with ACB.
Anyone wishing to schedule programs or activities in Las Vegas, including activities outside the hotel, must submit information directly to Janet Dickelman. My contact information is at the end of this article.
To be listed on the pre-registration form, information should be submitted by April 6th; for inclusion in the program, information should be received by April 27th. Also, make all arrangements related to conference and convention events — reserve meeting rooms, order food or A/V equipment, etc. — by contacting me directly.
Question of the Month
I've been asked about the Riviera's resort fee. Per our contract, ACB is not charged a resort fee, but attendees are given the amenities that the resort fee covers. These include:
- Complimentary Wi-Fi service for hotel guests
- Unlimited in-room safe
- Free access to Fitness Center
- Free unlimited local and 800 calls placed from your room
- Free access to the Riviera's tennis courts and pool complex
- Free valet and self-parking
- Free enrollment in Club Riviera
- 50% off drinks at the Casino Bar (located in the casino) — valid on first round of drinks
- 2 for 1 offer for the Comedy Club tickets
Room rates at the Riviera are $87 (single and double), plus $10 per additional guest. Room taxes are currently 12%. Make your reservation by calling 1-800-634-6753, or online by visiting www.acb.org and following the 2014 conference and convention link. If your affiliate or group wishes to reserve a suite, contact Janet Dickelman directly.
Stay in touch by joining the ACB convention e-mail list! Send a blank e-mail to [email protected].
Exhibit information: Michael Smitherman, (601) 331-7740, [email protected]
Advertising and sponsorships: Margarine Beaman, (512) 921-1625, [email protected]
For any other convention-related questions, contact Janet Dickelman, convention chair,
at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, janet.dickelman[email protected].