Meetings

Balancing Space and Participation: The 2012 Annual Meeting

This year has seen a higher rejection rate in the AAA Annual Meeting proposals. This is due to an increasingly large number of deserving sessions and limited program slots. We share here more context about the meeting space.

The AAA meeting location is generally booked at least 5 years in advance of the actual meeting. The Association does this to secure enough sleeping rooms and meeting space to accommodate the wide range of conference activities. For the 2012 annual meeting there are a two key factors that have led to an increased number of rejections:

  1. The contract with the Hilton San Francisco was signed in 2006 and is the final obligation owed to the property as a result of cancelling (and moving) the 2004 and 2006 annual meetings. Holding the 2008 and 2012 meetings at the Hilton San Francisco was a deal that was struck between Hilton and AAA to help mitigate some of the extensive financial damages born to both organizations as a result of the moves. 
  2. The AAA meeting has only recently grown beyond 6,000+ attendees. Because the greatly increased attendance is a new phenomenon, all of our meeting contracts through 2014 are reflective of a meeting anticipating an attendance of 5,000 to 5,500 individuals.

By chance, both New Orleans (2010) and Montreal (2011) were able to give AAA additional space to accommodate the unprecedented growth. That is not likely the case for the next three years as AAA returns to cities with much higher competition for space.  AAA has made some progress in securing additional meeting and session space in the next three cities (San Francisco, Chicago and Washington DC).  We were able to secure some space at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco which allowed us to expand this year’s program slightly.  However, another city-wide conference of more than 35,000 attendees shares our same dates in San Francisco which has eliminated the possibility of any additional meeting space.  Discussions in the other cities are on-going, but similar situations are already presenting themselves there as well.

Our overall rejection rates this year are 13% for paper submissions and 14% for session submissions. Below you will find a chart of recent rejection/acceptance rates for comparison. Surprisingly, 2012 is not AAA’s highest rejection rate and those higher years have all been in the city of San Francisco. If AAA were to return to San Francisco for a future meeting, the Association will need to investigate a wider range of potential meeting venues including two additional nearby hotels for meeting space or perhaps other options such as the Moscone Convention Center—which is likely to be cost-prohibitive.  This is something that the Executive Board will have to weigh when we look at west coast destinations again. After the 2012 meeting AAA will have no further financial obligations left to the Hilton San Francisco and can at least entertain other options within the city.

 

 AAA Annual Meeting Acceptance and Rejection Rates, 2004–2012

Meeting Location Year

Papers Rejected

Sessions Rejected

Poster Sessions

Sessions Scheduled

Special Events

Total Paid Registration

San Francisco

2004

933 (26%)

197 (39%)

39

433

243

4297

Washington DC

2005

178 (5.5%)

22 (5%)

29

506

240

5125

San Jose

2006

75 (2.5%)

4 (1%)

28

471

248

4521

Washington DC

2007

106 (3%)

31 (5%)

23

561

278

5161

San Francisco

2008

671 (16%)

162 (22%)

42

585

252

5629

Philadelphia

2009

134 (3.7%)

48 (7.2%)

28

559

200

5340

New Orleans

2010

149 (3.5%)

14 (2.5%)

32

806

224

5987

Montreal

2011

133 (2.5%)

13 (1.6%)

45

825

209

6558

San Francisco

2012

692 (13%)

162 (14%)

19

775

TBD

5593* (as of 5/17/2012)

*This number is calculated at the conclusion of the meeting. Given the trend of the past two years and the current registration rate, it is projected that AAA will have 6,500 attendees again in 2012.

Future AAA Annual Meeting Locations

2013: Chicago – Chicago Hilton & Towers
2014: Washington DC – Marriott Wardman Park & Omni Shoreham Hotel
2015: Denver – Colorado Convention Center