It's hard to believe that it's been almost five months since we were together in New Orleans! The hard work of planning next year's meeting in Tucson is in full swing and it looks to be a great program, thanks to Angela Sherrill (Children's Plus) and Arianne McHugh (Saddleback Educational Publishing).
Our organization is continuing to grow, and we are thrilled that both wholesalers and publishers are finding the Annual Meeting important to their businesses' success. As mentioned in New Orleans, growth has created some issues -- one of the biggest being finding a hotel or resort that can accommodate the amount of space we need for our one-on-ones, educational sessions, and meals.
The Board has decided that for the 2016 and 2017 meetings, the wholesalers will sit and the publishers will travel during the one-on-ones. We know that this is a major change, but it's one that we feel the need to try in order to open up opportunities for future meetings and the financial savings those new venues could bring.
Publishers will be given space around the perimeter of the one-on-one room to showcase their titles, as well as a place to store books, reports, and whatever else they might need for the meetings. We are also looking at other ideas to highlight publishers' titles and make wholesalers aware of the important titles that publishers wish to showcase. We are open to suggestions that you might have and ask that you email Maureen Gelwicks firstname.lastname@example.org
with any ideas.
Growth has also affected the meeting schedule, specifically the amount of time needed for the one-on-ones. The board is very aware that wholesalers are reaching their limit on the amount of time that can be tolerated being in one-on-ones in a given day, and we have spent an inordinate amount of time on discussing how to deal with this issue. One of the hallmarks of our organization is that publishers and wholesalers, large and small, are treated the same. We are adamant that this will continue as our organization grows.
The one-on-one meetings will still be eight minutes, but the number of one-on-one sessions on our final day will increase to give a little more breathing room for wholesalers on the meeting days. There has also been discussion about possibly putting a limit of the number of publishers that can attend the Annual Meeting. We are exploring how other industry conferences that cap attendance work, and this topic will be one of the main points of discussion at our September board meeting. Again, we are open to suggestions and ask that you email those to Maureen as well.
I hope that you all have a great summer filled with some rest and good reading and a successful start to the 2015-2016 school year!