ABC Committee Report - July 2016

The ABC Committee exists to coordinate the efforts of planning the Annual Business Conference and ACA World Convention.
Active Committee Members: Bill D., Chairperson; Jim R. Vice Chair; Tom R.; Marcia J., Melani McK.

• An 'Application to Host' was developed; two groups have responded.
• A method to compare the applications is being developed.
• Recommendation: Begin the search for the 2018 ABC/AWC host.
• Recommendation: Adopt the practice of ABC/AWC planning, 2 years prior to the event.

To review, the ABC Committee identified the top priority of finding a location for the upcoming 2017 Annual Business Conference, to be held at the end of April. To that end, the committee first drafted an announcement, encouraging groups and intergroups to host the event. The call to service struck a chord, with 4 groups asking for an application.

The next step was to fashion an application packet, designed to evaluate each request to host. The application looks at the proposed facilities and the logistics of traveling to the site. There is recognition of additional recreational value of each venue. There is a basic look at the financial factors. Additionally, we asked for information about the hosts – How long has their group been established? How much manpower is available? Do they enjoy an active fellowship, and have they provided any local events for their membership?

Two groups have returned applications. Reno, Nevada and San Diego, California.

Our next task is to analyze the information they provided, probably with a little back-and-forth, asking for clarification and filling in a few spaces. We are creating a method for comparing apples and oranges... or in this case, oranges and poker chips. With the analysis complete, we will be able to recommend a host for the next ABC.
Speaking of recommendations, the ABC Committee strongly suggests that (a) the 2018 ABC Host selection process begins now, and (b) the selection of subsequent sites be continued in that time frame – begun roughly 18 months prior to the event.

As to part (a), the 2018 Conference is slated to be outside of the United States. This may bring added complications to the process. As it stands now, upon selection, the host committee has only 6 to 7 months to plan and produce the event. This may be challenging for a distant ACA community. What's more, there is a ready, able and devoted cast of volunteer service providers on hand at this time.

And as to (b) – creating a standard of advanced planning – it would be very beneficial. To begin with, allowing more time to plan relieves some of the manufactured pressures of the task. There is no need to be under tight time constraints, when we are creating the time constraints. Good self-parenting technique.

Greater participation. Word travels slowly, throughout the world of ACA meetings. With an additional 12 months of lead time, more members will become aware of the upcoming ABC/AWC. More people will consider either attending the event, or offering to volunteer.

Continuing standards. A 2 year planning cycle allows the upcoming host committee to both attend the prior ABC/AWC and assist with its planning. This opportunity would be instrumental in providing continuity of quality and experience from year to year.

A richer experience. With more time for planning, the host committee can develop additional means for outreach to both delegates and convention-goers, prior to the event, in order to answer questions, develop connections and jump start the enthusiasm.

Future conferences. The day will come when the conference and convention will double in size. It's inevitable. Good planning would allow time for good planning. And all it costs is foresight.