by Carla Ruschival

It's mid-April as I write this article, and convention planning is moving along at a fast and furious pace. Mention April and most people think of spring, Easter, and taxes. Mention April around ACB and many of us start talking about the convention. To be sure you have the details you need, we are including answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Convention Basics

The 45th annual ACB convention will take place from Saturday, July 8 to Saturday, July 15 in Jacksonville, Fla. Convention headquarters is the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville-Riverfront; hotel rates are $79 per night plus tax (single, double, triple, quad). Make reservations by calling (800) 233-1234 or (904) 588-1234.


Pre-registration forms should reach you between the middle and end of May, depending on where you live. On-line pre-registration will also be available again this year.

Pre-registration is important. It saves you money; it lets us know how many people will be attending meal functions, tours, and social events. Here are some do's and don'ts:

-- DO pre-register as soon as possible. Many tours and other events are limited in size, and you don't want to be left out.

-- DON'T mark free events on the form unless you are fairly certain you will attend. Checking off free events just because they are free creates a huge amount of work for our staff and slows down convention preparations.

-- DO read the ConventionScope, included in the pre-registration packet. Details of tours and many other activities are found there. Reading that information can prevent many problems later.

-- DO check all appropriate boxes on the front of the form. We must know if you need an assistive listening device, if you require a lift-equipped bus, your preferred program format, etc. Without this information, we may not be able to meet your needs when you arrive in Jacksonville.

YAC Sign-up

Once again the Youth Activity Center (YAC) will be available from Monday through Friday. Kids 6 to 17 will enjoy crafts, swimming, bowling, trips to an interactive science museum and Adventureland, and a Friday night pizza party. To simplify registration, each YACster should complete a separate form. The YAC fee has been eliminated, and kids just pay the convention administrative fee instead. For YAC questions, call Patti Cox at (502) 897-3864.


If you wish to use paratransit while in Jacksonville, you MUST establish eligibility. Call the JTA Connexion as soon as possible at (904) 265-6001. To schedule rides (up to 7 days in advance), call (904) 265-6999.

Exhibits and Sponsors

The convention exhibit area is the perfect place to market your company's products and services, or to say "thank you" to your customers. Reserve your exhibit space by contacting Michael Smitherman at (601) 968-1013.

Corporate sponsorships and convention advertising are great ways to reach both philanthropic and marketing goals. Acknowledgments, ads and features on ACB Radio, ongoing posting of convention programs on the ACB web site, and on-demand convention programming in the ACB Radio archive are just a few of the ways your message reaches the folks at home both during and after convention week. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, call Brenda Dillon at (615) 874-1223.


To attend the pre-convention St. Augustine tour, plan to arrive in Jacksonville on Thursday, July 6; the tour will leave the hotel at 7:15 Friday morning. And it will be close, but you should be back just in time to leave for the baseball game between the Jacksonville Suns and the North Carolina Mud Slides.

Arrive in Jacksonville on Friday, July 7 in order to make the Saturday casino cruise; the bus will leave at 9:30 a.m.

Wind up a great convention week with another casino cruise on Saturday, July 15. Complete your day of fun at the Alhambra Dinner Theater; we'll enjoy delicious food and a production of "Beauty and the Beast."


The hotel has a very limited number of refrigerators that can be placed in guest rooms. For availability and pricing, call the hotel directly at (904) 588-1234.

Need more info or have a comment or suggestion? Contact Carla Ruschival at (502) 897-1472, or call the national office at (800) 424-8666.

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