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Visual Resources Association
28th Annual Conference
March 16-21, 2010

Schedule of Sessions, Meetings,
Workshops, and Events (.pdf)

VRA28 Conference Contacts

VRA President: Allan Kohl

Program: Heidi Raatz

Arrangements: Brian Shelburne

Registration: Marcia Focht

Payments: Jane Darcovich

Sponsorship: Steven Kowalik

VRAffle: Patricia McRae

Web Site: Mark Pompelia

Local Resources: Frank Jackson

Dear colleagues,

The 28th Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association will be held from March 17 (Wednesday) through March 20 (Saturday), 2010, in Atlanta, Georgia.

VRA Conference 28 will offer unprecedented bang for your precious travel and professional development bucks. In order to minimize our members’ hotel nights (and days away from our workplaces), we have implemented a compact schedule concentrating the core of conference programming into a 72-hour period extending from mid-day Wednesday to mid-day Saturday. These will be busy days, packed with interesting, relevant, and timely experiences. At the same time, acknowledging the budget stresses so many of us face, we have planned Conference 28 to be an affordable experience.

Our Conference headquarters will be the landmark Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. This contender for the title of “tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere” (when first built in 1976 it was the tallest hotel in the world) is conveniently located mere steps away from a MARTA rapid transit stop, giving visitors an easy, safe, quick and inexpensive trip from Hartsfield International Airport, a hub for Delta/Northwest and AirTran airlines. In fact, Atlanta boasts more nonstop flights, to more destinations, than any other airline hub worldwide, making your flights to and from the “Big Peach” both convenient and affordable.

This gracious and charming (and, in March, warm!) host city will provide an attractive setting for our program, guest speakers, and special events. VRA Conference 28 will cover topics of significance to our profession, including metadata issues, emerging technologies, resource sharing initiatives, and strategies for enhancing professional viability; it will attract professionals from major academic institutions, cultural organizations, and the commercial sector. Our conference organizers, Vice-Presidents Heidi Raatz and Brian Shelburne, assisted by the VRA Southeast Chapter’s local arrangements committee, have planned a program of sessions and events not to be missed.

Highlights will include:

  • Opening and closing plenary speakers: on Wednesday, Peter Brantley, a creative visionary and activist leader in the library community, will discuss the information technology landscape of the future, especially in terms of copyright issues; on Saturday, Jason Roy, head of the Digital Collections Unit at the University of Minnesota, will address “Collections of Distinction: Adding Value to the Online Community of Visual Resources” with a moderated panel of respondents.
  • Twelve timely, vital sessions on topics including embedded metadata, using social networking tools to promote awareness of visual resources, managing change and dealing with the consequences of the digital transition, appropriate disposition of legacy collections, and international aspects and concerns of the visual resources environment.
  • Workshops on strategic planning, enhancing one’s professional profile, and promoting the value of visual resources by using cutting-edge communication and marketing strategies.
  • The official roll-out and presentation of the VRA Strategic Plan, in which the Association charts its future course for the coming years.
  • The return of the popular “Vendor Slam,” allowing vendors to present overviews of their new products and services, with plenty of opportunities for follow-up questions and individual consultation (over wine and cheese) afterwards.
  • A record number of Special Interest Groups, including both those oriented towards specific content management systems or utilities and several open-ended affinity groups.
  • The popular Birds-of-a-Feather lunches--affinity networking groups hosted and facilitated by seasoned VRA professionals, specifically (but not exclusively) geared towards new members of the organization and first-time attendees; and “Ask the Expert” encounters, providing opportunities to learn about emerging technologies, new products, and shared professional interests in one-on-one exchanges.
  • Special events including the Membership Dinner and Awards Ceremony; the opening night reception; and the always-spectacular VRAffle--events in which we celebrate our distinctive identity as a professional community whose members also regard one another as valued colleagues and friends.

All this in a mere 72 hours over four days (and only three nights)!

Still on the fence about your overall costs? We have been able to negotiate a substantial reduction in the hotel’s room rates for our attendees. Once again, that’s fewer nights, at a much lower rate per night, than has been the case over our past several conferences. And don’t forget that most of our members attending the full conference will have several of their meals included in their basic conference registration fees as well.

VRA 28 will offer an excellent opportunity to network, acquire new skills, and share experiences with your enthusiastic and knowledgeable professional colleagues--all in a convenient venue located in an accessible and gracious Southern setting.

Please plan now to join us in the “Athens of the South” for what promises to be a memorable conference experience.

Allan T. Kohl
President, Visual Resources Association

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