In less than a year — July 2-5, 2020 — the International Convention will celebrate A.A.’s 85th Anniversary in Detroit, Michigan. With a theme of “Love and Tolerance Is Our Code,” A.A.s from around the world will converge on Detroit to celebrate sobriety and to share experience, strength and hope in meetings, panels and workshops at the Cobo Center, the Ford Field stadium and at other locations throughout the friendly city. Members of the Fellowship 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 2019 to all G.S.R.s, central offices, intergroups and international G.S.O.s. Online registration will open September 9, 2019 at 10 a.m. E.T.
Q Will I be able to register online?
A Yes. There will be links to registration on G.S.O.’s A.A. website, www.aa.org.
Q What about on-site registration?
A On-site registration will be set up at the Cobo Center and will open on Wednesday morning, July 1, 2020.
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 Advanced registration for the convention between September 9, 2019 and April 14, 2020 will be $115.00 (USD) per attendee. Registration after April 15, 2020 will be $140.00 (USD) per attendee.
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 receive housing information by the same method you sent in your registration. Please take into consideration that individual members will be able to book up to four (4) rooms. If you are traveling in a group and need more than 4 rooms, more than one member in your group would need to register and book the necessary hotel rooms.
For large groups requiring ten (10) rooms or more, there is a separate procedure. For information on this procedure, please contact the international Convention coordinator at G.S.O. at firstname.lastname@example.org. While we are trying to meet everyone’s needs, we attempt to ensure fairness for the entire Fellowship so that attendees traveling in a group and single attendees have equal access to hotel arrangements for the convention.
Q Where are the main hotels?
A Our Convention hotel block of over 10,000 rooms will be in five main areas, four in Michigan — downtown Detroit, Dearborn, Southfield and Romulus/Airport — and one just across the Canadian border, in Windsor, Ontario. Of those 10,000 rooms, only 3,000 are in downtown Detroit and within walking distance of the Cobo Center and the Ford Field Stadium.
Below are the hotel rate ranges for each of our hotel areas:
Dearborn Hotel Rate Range - $80.00-$189.00
Downtown Detroit Hotel Rate Range - $115.00-$249.00
Airport Hotel Rate Range - $69.00-$179.00
Southfield Hotel Rate Range - $109.00-$159.00
Belleville Hotel Rate Range - $90.00-$149.00
Warren Hotel Rate Range - $90.00-$169.00
Sterling Heights Hotel Rate Range - $99.00-$169.00
Windsor Canada Hotel Rate Range - $95.00CAD-$189.00CAD
Note: All rates subject current taxes at the time of occupancy
Q Can members contact hotels directly?
A No. To make the process as fair as possible, all housing requests will be processed through the Convention Housing Bureau.
Q Can travel agents make room reservations?
A Room reservations can only be made in an individual’s name. 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 as 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 Will local transportation be available?
A All members in housing blocked for this event will be provided with shuttle buses for a less-than-45- minute ride to the Cobo Center and the Ford Field stadium. Some members will be within walking distance of the meeting venues.
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 2019 registration information mailing and on the International Convention Website.
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 website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas.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, Monaco, 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 (6) months to receive a nonimmigrant visa, depending on the demand in your country.
Please note, some of our available hotels are located in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Therefore, attendees staying in Windsor will be crossing the international border at least twice a day, when coming into Detroit and when departing. While this is handled routinely, it will require you to carry your passport at all times.
Q How can I volunteer to help at the Convention?
A It has been said that International Convention volunteers are like greeters at an A.A. meeting room door, except they are greeting 50,000 people. This wonderful event will need a welcome committee of 3,000 to 4,000 volunteers to welcome members from around the globe.
That being said, at this time there is very little activity for volunteers. The structure of the local welcome committee is being put in place. In the first months of 2020, we will hold a volunteer kickoff event in Detroit to begin gathering names of A.A. members interested in volunteering. Please keep tuned to www.aa.org for future bulletins.
Q Where do I obtain more information about the 2020 International Convention?
A More information will be available throughout 2019 and 2020 in Box 4-5-9 and on G.S.O.’s website, www.aa.org. All necessary information will be included in the registration packet, which will be available August 2019. G.S.O.’s website will be updated as more information becomes available.
We hope to see you in Detroit to celebrate
the 85 birthday of Alcoholics Anonymous.