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January 2018 President’s Corner

Today marks an important milestone in planning for the annual conference in Las Vegas, the release of the preliminary schedule for BEA2018, with a spotlight on: Inclusive Media. The schedule is the result of months of planning by Jennifer Meadows, 2018 Convention Chair; the Convention Program Committee—Greg Luft, Marilyn Terzic, Sara Magee and Micheal McAlexander; and the BEA Staff.

#BEAVegas will once again kick off at noon on Saturday, April 7th and conclude with a reception on Tuesday evening, April 10th.  As with every conference, there are a few changes of note for BEA2018.  One of the major changes is the move to one-hour sessions. This change has allowed us to reduce the number of concurrent sessions in any given timeslot—and associated room rental charges—while providing a slight increase in the overall number of sessions and conference participants. This may seem like a shocking change to some, but we hope that the new time limit will result in more focused presentations and a better conference experience for everyone.

Attendees won’t have to get up early Tuesday morning for the district meetings this year. They have been moved to Saturday afternoon at 5:45 p.m. in order to encourage greater attendance. These district meetings—as well as the interest division business meetings, which are scattered throughout the conference program—are essential to the effective governance of the organization. As incentive to attend the Saturday afternoon district meetings, the district directors will pass out complimentary drink tickets for the opening night reception.  A welcome meeting led by BEA staff and the executive committee to discuss the current state of BEA will will precede the district meetings at 5:00 p.m.

The exhibit hall will be open and populated with vendors on Sunday and Monday again this year.  On Tuesday, the space will be re-purposed for a Graduate School Showcase. More than 15 schools have already reserved a booth to promote their graduate programs to potential graduate students. There are still a few spots left. Check the BEA website for details about reserving a spot. In conjunction with the showcase, grad students will present their on-going research projects as part of the Grand Plans and Great Expectations digital research sessions.

A few things haven’t changed. The annual awards ceremony will be Sunday evening. The King Foundation Festival of Media Arts will return on Monday night. As always, there will be plenty of focus on media research, pedagogy, creative activity, and interactions with industry insiders, networking, and of course catching up with BEA friends.

There’s still time to have an official place in the BEA2018 program. The deadline to submit a great teaching idea for BEA Ignite is January 31st. Grad students can to their research for consideration in Grand Plans and Great Expectations until February 21st.