by Janet Dickelman
There are many components that make for a successful convention: sponsors, exhibitors, programming, and tours, but the most integral part of the convention is you!
Conference and Convention Attendees
The first of June is here, which means 2012 conference and convention is upon us. This is your convention to enjoy, learn, participate and give feedback! Whether you have never attended a convention or have been coming for years, we want to see you in Louisville!
Register online at www.acb.org; just follow the link to 2012 conference and convention. This year you will find a new feature in the online registration. You can create a password, which allows you to save your registration information and return to the registration form as often as you need until the form has been completed.
If you prefer to register by phone, call the 2012 pre-registration line, 1-800-866-3242 (after June 1st), and leave your name, phone number, time zone, and the best times to reach you. Our new telephone registration guru, Pam Cox, will call you back as soon as possible to complete your registration form.
Reservations for the 2012 convention can be made via phone or online. To make your reservations via phone, call 1-800-843-4258. Be sure to mention you are with the ACB convention. If you'd like to make your reservations online, go to https://resweb.passkey.com/go/acbl0712. Room rates are $85 for a standard room, $105 for a suite. The room rate is taxable; one night's stay will be charged to your credit card when you make your reservation.
Sandollar shuttle will charge ACB members a round-trip fare of $22. Please let them know you are with ACB when you make your reservations. Visit www.sandollarlimo.com or call them at (502) 561-4022.
Special-interest affiliates and task forces have many programs to offer. There are many tech sessions regarding the latest and greatest off-the-shelf and blindness-specific products. There are seminars for attorneys, diabetics, human service professionals, students, and teachers. If you are newly blind, if you are interested in transportation, school issues or have a hearing impairment, there is something at the conference and convention for you. Recreational opportunities such as water aerobics and morning exercise are available throughout the week. Many seminars could assist you in career development. For additional information regarding employment-related events, feel free to contact me at (651) 428-5059 or via e-mail, [email protected].
For up-to-date information pertaining to the ACB conference and convention, subscribe to the convention list by sending a blank e-mail to [email protected].
Michael Smitherman has received registrations from many vendors; some are familiar exhibitors who have joined us in the past. We welcome our returning exhibitors and are always glad to see new faces. As I write this, I know there will be several first-time exhibitors joining us in Louisville.
Vendors who have reserved booths will be listed in the conference and convention program, and you can obtain an exhibitor list when you visit the exhibit hall in Louisville.
Our newest addition, Marketplace, has already had several tables reserved, but you can still get in on the fun. For additional information on vendor or Marketplace registration, contact Michael Smitherman, [email protected] or (601) 331-7740.
Corporate sponsors help defray conference and convention costs for the information desk, communication center, ACB Café and a myriad of other items. Sponsorship information will be listed in our program, recognized in our daily newspaper and announced by Margarine Beaman during general sessions. If you have an opportunity, make sure to acknowledge how much you appreciate those sponsors for helping to make many convention activities possible. If you are interested in a corporate sponsorship, contact Margarine Beaman at (512) 921-1625 or visit our web site, www.acb.org, and register as a sponsor at the 2012 conference and convention link.
As important as corporate sponsors are to ACB, we also rely on our individual sponsors. On the pre-registration form and at the convention, when you visit registration, you will have the opportunity to become an individual sponsor. Sponsorships begin at the bronze level ($25) and go up to the titanium level of $500. Please consider helping ACB as an individual sponsor. You will also be recognized at the convention and will have a ribbon on your badge to acknowledge your sponsorship!
Ordering Dog Food
We also value all the four-pawed convention attendees. Once again Tim and Maria Stone of ScoopMasters will be maintaining the dog relief areas. They will deliver dog food directly to your hotel room at the Galt House; but you must pre-order. To order dog food, please visit www.premiumpetfood.com/acb/, or call ScoopMasters at 1-800-787-7667.
If you plan to attend the convention and need a support service provider or interpreter, please contact Lori Scharff, who will assist in making arrangements. Send her an e-mail with "interpreter for Louisville" in the subject line, or contact her via phone, (516) 695-6370.