Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Leaving San Diego Tomorrow

View from the Marriott Marina Hotel Room

It will be a bit sad to leave San Diego. We had a great time. Thanks to having SBL's VIP-registration status, we had an excellent room with the sort of view pictured above here at the Marriott, pretty much right at the center of all the conference action. Next year in Boston the meeting will be very different without the AAR members present. At our regional coordinators meeting, we talked about this a little bit. We were told that the AAR may not want to keep to their idea of a separate meeting for too many years. So far, they have not fared well on their own. Apparently, their upcoming meeting in Canada will be expensive for their members, with rooms costing over $200 per night. That's a lot more than the rates we've all been used to getting at these conferences. SBL has been able to negotiate future rates just as good as in the past. Almost all the book publishers will continue to display at SBL. Apparently on a per-square-foot basis, SBL is able to offer a better financial deal than AAR will be able to. Also, the publishers believe that SBL members buy a lot more books than AAR members do! It is still unknown whether the AAR will be able to host the kind of book display that is always so amazing at the SBL meetings. It seems pretty clear to me that SBL is aggressively working to secure a guaranteed good-meeting next year in Boston. 2008 pre-registration and housing was already up and going here in San Diego. That's much, much sooner than ever in the past. It's all being done in-house now. They believe that they can save lots of money over what the third-party organization was charging them to handle conference registration. A lot of the work is done automatically by the computers now, anyway. The Call for Papers for the 2008 meeting is up already as well. Again, that's quite a bit ahead of anything that we were used to in the past. We'll see if the SBL membership likes all this moving of things forward. I felt it added several extra tasks and things to think about to a time when I was just trying to concentrate on the immediate conference at hand, not next year's conference. However, it's not that big of a deal.

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