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Does anyone here attend the national AR conferences in the U.S.? (i.e. the one organized by FARM, and the one organized by HSUS).<br><br>
I have never gone to these, and I was wondering what other people's opinions are. It seems to me that anything that is accomplished at a conference can be accomplished just as easily, if not more so, on a discussion board such as VB.<br><br>
So, is all the money people spend on airfare and hotel rooms just a big waste, or are there any practical benefits to these conferences?<br><br>
-Eugene
 

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I went to the LA one, Animal Rights 2009, and I will be going <a href="http://www.arconference.org/" target="_blank">this year in July</a>. LA is just a 3-4 hour drive for me and I can afford to attend, at least the weekend portion. I think it's worth it. Even though I've read plenty of books and I've been involved here and there, I still learned a lot. We live-blogged it. You can read our notes here: <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/topics/ar-2009/" target="_blank">http://www.vegansoapbox.com/topics/ar-2009/</a> The part that I did not take advantage of was the socializing. I was way too nervous and things were too complicated with family members attending as well. But this year I plan to do a little more socializing.<br><br>
There's going to be a short "conference" here in Vegas soon, too. It's called Vegans In Vegas and it's geared towards men: <a href="http://vegansinvegas.com/" target="_blank">http://vegansinvegas.com/</a><br>
And I plan to attend Vida Vegan, a conference for vegan bloggers: <a href="http://vidavegancon.com/" target="_blank">http://vidavegancon.com/</a><br><br>
Edit: I cannot attend Vida Vegan. It's full. I would still like to go to AR 2011 but I have a very important thing I must do on Friday of the conference and depending how that goes I may not be able to travel that weekend.
 

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I went to AR 2005. It was like vegan Disneyland. Cost just as much and I came home with just as many souvenirs, and I got 3 animals adopted out.
 

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I went to AR2010. Try to stay with a resident, the hotels are very expensive.
 

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I'm going to the one in July! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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I haven't been to one in years. Was at one in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey, both mid-90s. They were both very good experiences.
 

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I've never been to one and don't find them appealing. I probably never will. I get the same impression Eugene has gotten.
 

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I think the conferences are most useful for these things:<br>
- face to face socializing and networking<br>
- change of scenery = change in perception or attitudes<br>
- stuff (cool tshirts and things)<br>
- good intro to the movement for newbies<br>
- sometimes these conferences act as fundraisers<br>
- for some attendees, they can receive college or continuing education credits
 

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Riot Nrrrd
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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">face to face socializing and networking</div>
</div>
<br>
That's at least equally as important as 'real work', if not more so.
 

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Just came back from AR 2011. I'm beginning to publish my notes here:<br><a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/topics/ar2011/" target="_blank">http://www.vegansoapbox.com/topics/ar2011/</a><br><br>
So far I have these three up...<br>
Making of an activist: <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/making-of-an-activist/" target="_blank">http://www.vegansoapbox.com/making-of-an-activist/</a><br>
Celebrate the neocarnist: <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/celebrate-the-neocarnist/" target="_blank">http://www.vegansoapbox.com/celebrate-the-neocarnist/</a><br>
Writing our message: <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/writing-the-animal-rights-message/" target="_blank">http://www.vegansoapbox.com/writing-...ights-message/</a><br><br>
Tomorrow, the Nick Cooney one goes up: <a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/winning-hearts-and-minds-ar-2011/" target="_blank">http://www.vegansoapbox.com/winning-...minds-ar-2011/</a><br><br>
There will be about 1 post per day until they're all up. Notes will also be on the ARC website, but that will take a little while. You can also order audio versions of conference sessions to listen to at home.
 

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I was able to attend Vida Vegan Con (got on waitlist and then got a ticket when someone else canceled). I put up two posts so far that relate to the conference. Here they are:<br><br><a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/they-want-to-learn/" target="_blank">They want to learn</a><br><br><a href="http://www.vegansoapbox.com/vvc-notes-opinionated-blogging/" target="_blank">Opinionated blogging</a><br><br>
These conferences inspire me.
 
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