The International Convention will celebrate A.A.’s 80th Anniversary, July 2-5, 2015, in Atlanta, Georgia. With a theme of “80 Years — Happy, Joyous and Free,” A.A.s from around the world will converge on Atlanta to celebrate sobriety, and share experience, strength and hope in meetings, panels and workshops at the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome and at other locations throughout the friendly city. Members of the Fellowship, as always, are now gearing up for this wonderful event and the General Service Office is beginning to receive inquiries. So here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding the Convention.
Q When will registration forms be available?
A Registration forms will be mailed in August of 2014 to all G.S.R.s, Central Offices, Intergroups and international G.S.O.s. Online registration will be available September 3, 2014.
Q Will I be able to register online?
A Yes. There will be links to registration on G.S.O.’s A.A. Web site, www.aa.org.
Q What about on-site registration?
A Onsite registration will be set up in the Georgia World Congress Center and will open on Wednesday morning, July 1, 2015.
Q Must everyone register? I thought I didn’t have to pay to go to an A.A. event.
A Yes. Everyone must register. Attendance at this special celebration is voluntary and, as responsible A.A. members, “we pay our own way.” The International Convention is paid for by those A.A.s who participate in it.
Q How much will registration cost?
A Registration fees will be established in 2014. Our objective is to keep registration as accessible as possible. For recent International Conventions, the registration was around $100 for this special self-supporting event.
Q Can travel agents register groups or individuals?
A No. Payments from travel agencies to register groups or individuals will not be accepted.
Q When can I reserve my hotel room?
A Once you have registered for the Convention, you will be able to sign up for housing.
Q Where are the main hotels?
A In Atlanta, our Convention hotel block of over 10,000 rooms will be in three main areas: Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta and at the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport area. Of those 10,000 rooms, the majority are in downtown Atlanta, within walking distance of the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC) and the Georgia Dome. MARTA is Atlanta’s public transit system and all of the hotels are within one to two blocks of MARTA, which has two stops at the GWCC and the Dome.
Q Can members contact hotels directly?
A No. To make the process as fair as possible, all housing requests will be processed through the official Housing Bureau.
Q Can travel agents make room reservations?
A Room reservations can only be made in individual people’s names. Rooms available through the Housing Bureau, at specially negotiated Convention rates, are not commissionable to travel agents.
Q Can we request a room in the same hotel with friends?
A Yes, you can reserve more than one room through the housing process so long as your friends have registered for the Convention. You will need to provide their name(s) and be prepared to pay additional deposits.
Q If 50 of us are coming together from the same area, can we be in the same hotel?
A We do make an effort to accommodate group housing requests. There is a separate procedure for this to ensure fairness, while still trying to meet your needs. Contact the International Convention Coordinator at G.S.O. when we are closer to registration.
Q Will local transportation be available?
A Many members will be within walking distance or a short ride on public transportation from their accommodations. All housing blocked for this event will be less than a 30-minute MARTA ride from the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome.
Q What about special airline rates?
A As at other International Conventions, there will be special fares available. That information will be available with the August 2014 registration information mailing.
Q Where can I find information about crossing the border into the U.S. for this event?
A For accurate, specific and up-to-date information about visas and travel into the U.S., visit the United States Department of State Web site: www.travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html.
If you are coming from abroad you may need a visa. Most Canadian citizens, and many citizens of countries in the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP), do not need a visa. However, you will need a machine-readable passport valid for at least 90 days past your date of departure. The VWP countries are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaca, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and United Kingdom.
If you do not come from a VWP country you must obtain a nonimmigrant visa. Plan ahead; it may take six months to receive a nonimmigrant visa, depending on the demand in your country.
Q Where do I obtain more information about the 2015 International Convention?
A More information will be available throughout 2014 and 2015 in Box 4-5-9 and on G.S.O.’s A.A. Web site, www.aa.org. All necessary information will be included in the registration packet, which will be available August 2014. A.A.’s Web site will be updated as more information becomes available.
We hope to see you in Atlanta to celebrate the 80th birthday of Alcoholics Anonymous.