choo! choo!

The trainwreck is a-comin’. I got my first e-mail yesterday about how you can get hotel rooms very near the American Sociological Association conference hotels for at least $70/night cheaper than the conference price. Just to remind everyone, ASA’s underselling of its conference hotel agreement back in 2003–along with its decision not to pay a $43,600 penalty–is the primary reason that ASA is returning to Atlanta this year.

As far as I know, the location of ASA 2017 remains undetermined. I am going on record right now as saying if ASA 2017 (or, for that matter, 2018 or 2019) is in Atlanta, I will– well, I’m not sure what I will do, but something. Anyone else with me?

(Note: nothing against The South. In fact, I like The South so much that I believe it contains more than one city. ASA NOLA? ASA Dallas? ASA Memphis? ASA Havana? ASA Dollywood? Count me in!)

Author: jeremy

I am the Ethel and John Lindgren Professor of Sociology and a Faculty Fellow in the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University.

7 thoughts on “choo! choo!”

  1. I’m skipping ASA for the first time since Anaheim (2001, I think), and only the second time since NYC 1996. But it’s not about Atlanta, as much as I find that city a dud – it’s just about the timing of the conference vis-a-vis family time this year!


  2. Ugh. I’m 100% with you, Jeremy. If it is in Atlanta 2017 for the same reason it is there this year I hereby commit myself to organizing a competing conference somewhere else in the south. Want to join me, Jeremy? It will be called ASA (Annual scatterplot Anti-ASA).


  3. It’s been a long time since where the ASA is has mattered to me much except for the air fare. The inside of one convention hotel looks pretty much like another. If I want a vacation, I take a vacation.

    Isn’t ASA’s problem that it is too big a convention to fit in hotels anywhere but a few places? If you are thinking about the convention, and not how much you like hooking tourism to it, what matters is the ecology of the convention space. Can you easily get from meeting to meeting? Can you easily find the people you have appointments with? Does the layout make it likely that you will bump into people on the way between events? I personally hate conventions held in convention centers, especially if the hotels are scattered too far apart. NY and SF have the best layouts, with hotels next door, but NY has gotten too expensive. Chicago is a pain because the hotels are half a mile apart.

    I guess if you have a travel budget, the opportunity to eat in good restaurants on someone else’s dime is a big draw. Perhaps that’s why people prefer one city over another?


  4. OW, I *like* convention centers for the reason you hate them – because once you’re at the meeting, everything’s in the same place! The worst I remember was Toronto (1997?), which was in four (!) separate hotels and sent hordes of absent-minded professors scurrying across the square every couple of hours. I liked Montreal because of the convention center – everything in one place, no scurrying :)


  5. Andrew: We aren’t that far apart in our goals, as the main reason I dislike convention centers is that the hotels are scattered, so once people leave the building for a bar you have no chance of ever seeing them again. The rest is just a personal dislike for cavernous concrete spaces, and the fact that they usually are really sparse with the comfortable seating areas outside the meeting rooms, so people leave the convention site if they want to have an informal conversation. A convention center with hotels linked to it works well.

    That said, even I disliked Anaheim, where there was absolutely no place to go outside the convention space.


  6. APSA (poli sci) and AEA (economics) are both larger than ASA and have managed to find their way to destinations in the South other than Atlanta. Granted, the heat issue is different for AEA because they meet in the winter.

    I thought Montreal’s layout worked pretty well.


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