With the extraordinary growth of the ABCA Convention over the past five years, the Association is taking new measures to ensure that all attendees and exhibitors have a great experience. Our members' efforts in spreading the word about this great coaching association have led to the ABCA nearly doubling the number of members, from 6,000 to 11,300 in the past five years!
We have had record numbers of coaches attend the ABCA Convention in the past four years: 5,608 in 2016, 6,059 in 2018 and 6,524 this past January in Dallas. We’re expecting another record for the 2020 Convention in Nashville!
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive after the 2019 Convention. We’d like to thank the 1,000+ attendees who filled out our post-convention survey and left feedback in our app. While 97% of survey responders reported being satisfied with the Convention and 98% said they would recommend attending to a colleague, there were some common themes about logistical improvements that can be made.
Based on the feedback from you and/or your fellow coaches as well as working with the operations team at the Gaylord Opryland, we came to the conclusion that a limit of 7,100 registrations is necessary for the 2020 ABCA Convention in Nashville. The major factors in this include the number of possible seats in the clinic hall, meeting room spaces and food service capabilities. With all of those factors, we felt that the increase in coaches from 6,524 last year to a possible 7,100 this year would allow everyone to have the best experience.
With all of this in mind, we encourage you to update your ABCA membership, if you haven’t already, and if you’re planning to attend the ABCA Convention in Nashville, to register as soon as possible after Sept. 1 to guarantee your spot.
You can register for the convention online beginning Sept. 1.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:
- When does Convention Registration open? September 1.
- How can I make sure I’m able to register for the 2020 Convention? Register as soon as possible after September 1.
- Why is there a limit of 7,100 attendees? Feedback from ABCA members indicated that the high volume of coaches at the 2019 Convention hindered their experience in a few aspects such as meal options and meeting space acoustics. Based on that feedback and the capacity of the Gaylord Opryland and meeting space available, we felt that 10% growth would allow our largest ABCA Convention ever while still providing coaches with the best possible experience on-site.
- Will there be walk-up registration like in the past? Most likely, no. If you want to attend the Convention, you should register as early as possible.
- How will the limit make the Convention better? It will allow proper advance planning so that the facility can handle the crowd.
- Will there be a limit every year? Not necessarily. We will adjust the limit each year, if one is needed at all, based on the capabilities of the facilities.
- How do you choose convention locations? We evaluate future locations based on a large number of factors. Only a few locations in the U.S. can meet all of these needs. The factors include:
- Clinic hall that can seat at least 6,000 coaches
- At least 200,000 square feet of space in the exhibit hall
- At least 2,000 hotel rooms in the main hotel or connected to the convention center, with convenient overflow hotels that bring the total to at least 3,000 hotel rooms on peak nights
- Adequate number and size of meeting rooms
- Geographic location that is very easy for both flying and driving
- Very low hotel room rate that is within $10 of previous conventions; for instance, this year's standard hotel room rate at the Gaylord Opryland is just $131 at a hotel where it is routinely more than $300
- Will the ABCA lose money by limiting the number of registrations? Possibly, but our top priority is that the coaches who attend the convention have a great experience.
- If I have extra hotel rooms booked, will I get a refund if I cancel them? Yes, you will get your deposit refunded if you cancel extra hotel rooms by Friday, November 29. After that date, you will forfeit your one-night deposit.
The American Baseball Coaches Association staff looks forward to continuing to serve the membership, offer new membership benefits and to hosting a great national convention in 2019-20!