Friday, November 09, 2007

AAR/SBL split

This is the last year that AAR and SBL will have a joint meeting until 2011. I noticed that both AAR and SBL have been courting their members already for the 2008 meetings. This week I received mailings from both SBL and AAR, trying to convince me that as a vendor, I need to display at their convention by touting figures about number of attendees and percentage who attend the book exhibit, etc.

Well, Eisenbrauns will probably display at both of them, at least the first year. But, the pricing is highway robbery. Displaying at the joint meetings is expensive, but you have the potential to reach 7,00-10,000 people. The figures for the individual meetings are significantly less, so you would think that AAR and SBL would factor that into the pricing. Did they? Nope! Not only are prices the same, but in the case of AAR, they have actually reduced the booth size and shortened the show by a day! But, that's not all. They split the exhibit area into two sections (bad enough) and, to add insult to injury, they priced most of the exhibit hall one booths at premium prices (an extra $550 per booth)!

Let's see if I get this straight. You are decreasing the attendance by almost 1/2, cutting my display space by 20%, decreasing the length of the conference by 25%, relegating me to the Exhibit Hall 2 and wanting me to think you are doing me a favor?

Hmmm...let me think about that for a while. Oh, I almost forgot, if I reserve the booth space during this year's AAR/SBL, I get $50.00 off! Of course, I have to include 50% of the cost with the application! So, they get to use the exhibitors' funds for 11 months. Yep, I'm definitely in the wrong business...


Anonymous said...

They charge you guys????? Then what the heck am I paying $135 for? I know it's not for the booze at the reception after the Presidential Address. And I know its not for the Sheffield Reception (because Sheffield pays for that).

I'm naive I guess but I thought the outrageous fees they charged attendees were for renting the halls and meeting spaces.

[And where's my Finkelstein?!?!?!?]


Unknown said...

It'll be interesting to see how this shakes out--they definitely need to lower their prices though since the audience is smaller.

You know better than I, but I wonder how much bang for the buck you get at ARR. I thought it was nice when it was alongside SBL and occasionally there would be something there that would interest me. But now that they're separate I'm not making any plans on attending AAR and I bet a lot of Eisenbrauns customers will do the same.