A Note about PAA 2017 Registration Rates
First, the increase in meeting costs has greatly outpaced prior registration rate increases. The costs of food and beverage, audio-visual equipment, and other necessary services have increased significantly each year. Food and beverage costs have increased, on average, 5 – 15% per year, and audio-visual costs have increased as well. For Chicago in particular, PAA is facing an increase of at least 15% for audio-visual services in labor costs alone due to Chicago’s atypical union regulations.
Second, two of the critical meeting services – abstract submission and onsite registration (and the software development and maintenance which supported such)- were graciously provided for many years by PAA members either on an entirely volunteer basis or significantly below market price. These individuals have retired, and to replace these services, PAA now pays market price for the software and has hired an additional full-time staff person. Without increasing the registration rates to compensate, the PAA Annual Meeting would run a deficit. The new rates are comparable to those for other annual meetings in the social sciences.
Finally, at the previous registration rates, PAA is not able to provide any new services to the Annual Meeting attendees. Providing internet access in the meeting space was the single most requested change for future annual meetings in the 2016 Annual Meeting evaluation survey. The cost to provide meeting-wide internet service increases the overall annual meeting expenses by 15 – 25%. The Board recognizes that providing Internet service is critical to improving the annual meeting experience, and beginning with the 2017 Annual Meeting in Chicago, internet access will be available in all meeting spaces, including the exhibit hall, for the duration of the meeting.
Further, the Board is working to reduce the costs of participation in other ways-room rates in 2017 and 2018 are less than $220 per night (exclusive of taxes). PAA will continue the new practice, introduced this year, of securing an economy hotel option for student and early-career attendees. As we look at locations for 2021 and beyond, we will select cities that will provide PAA with a balance of features such as ease of travel, local amenities, and affordability.
This increase in registration fees will also help to ensure that PAA will continue to be financially solvent for many years.