Major Audiobook Conference to Take Place Pre-BEA on May 31, 2001
Representatives from all aspects of the audiobook industry including publishers, retailers, library personnel, manufacturers, service providers, narrators, producers, cataloguers and alternative sales outlets, will convene on Thursday, May 31, 2001 for the Seventh Annual Audiobook Publishers Association Conference. Commonly known as "APAC," the meeting will take place at the Chicago Hilton & Towers on the day before the opening of the BEA Convention in Chicago. Although several parts of the conference are open only to APA members, the majority of programs and panels, as well as the luncheon and the coffee breaks are open to any APAC registrant.

This year, the mission of APAC is to educate, inform and promote the exchange of ideas about the future of the audiobook industry. To accomplish these goals, the Audiobook Publishers Association has organized a diverse group of events and exhibits which registrants may attend.

Registration for all attendees runs from 7:00a.m. - 5:00p.m. on May 31st, and includes a continental breakfast. For APA members only, there is a New Member Orientation from 8:00a.m.- 8:30a.m., followed by the Membership Meeting from 8:30a.m. - 10:15a.m. During this meeting, exciting new statistics and exclusive reports about the audiobook industry will be announced for the first time. The meeting will close with the election of new officers.

Listing of programs and seminars open to all attendees:

1st Session: 10:45a.m. - 12:00 noon

An Ear to the Market Place
How can the audiobook industry cross promote libraries as a gateway for new customers? How will CDs, MP3s and unabridged versions of audiobooks affect the retail standard? How will the internet affect where we are?

The New New Thing?: The E-Book/Audiobook Connection
Niso/Daisy technology makes it possible for audiobooks and ebooks to be one and the same; audio could be the value necessary to launch ebooks.

12:00 noon - 1:45p.m. -- Lunch, Special Awards, Exhibits

As part of the luncheon program, there will be a special award ceremony recognizing those who have made audio an important part of their lives and the lives of others.

2nd Session: 2:00p.m. - 3:15p.m.

Successful Audio Projects are More than Just Good Ideas
The audio idea was great. The production was great. The sales weren't there. What went wrong? This is our opportunity to avoid some hard knocks mixed with some success stories, too.

Napster: What Can We Learn? Legal and Financial
Legal and financial piracy and issues of the new technology, including digital download and rights issues. What are the risks, what are the opportunities?

Coffee break from 3:15p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Final Session: 3:45p.m. - 5:00p.m.

Getting the Word Out
Are we an ancillary spin-off of books, simply an alternative platform, or are we something special in our own right? How do we reinvent ourselves and become a lead story again? Great writing, great performance, now that's ENTERTAINMENT. Are we telling the story of how well audio tells the story?

The latest gadgets and goodies. Better promotions using audio clips online. Reaching the youth market (18-34). How do we tap into this audience?

In addition to the above seminars, there will also be:

The Narration/Voice Talent Seminar (two parts: 10:45a.m. - 12 noon and 2:00p.m. - 3:15p.m.) - A special seminar on narration and voice talent in the audiobook industry from the point of view of the professionals.

The Cocktail Party (5:00p.m. - 6:30p.m.) - Honoring the stars of the industry - the narrators.

The APA is a not-for-profit trade organization consisting of over 200 member companies including publishers, resellers, distributors, and suppliers along with other industries related to the production, promotion, and sale of audiobooks. The mandate of the APA is to deal with the concerns of the industry; assure the ongoing production of high quality products; to initiate research and the distribution of relevant data; and to nurture solid relationships among the consumers, the reseller, and the industry itself.