Several changes have been made in the room arrangement and seating for the 2012 Annual Conference Session, taking place next week (Wed. June 20-Sat. June 23) at the Sacramento Convention Center.
In recent years, ACS has occupied both Hall A and Hall B of the Convention Center, but this year we will be using only Hall A. The configuration of the reduced space made it desirable to shift the orientation of the room from north-south to east-west.
Seating chart posted
A seating chart has been posted to the ACS 2012 Resources page, showing the layout of the space. The chart (in PDF format) shows the placement of the stage, tables, pages' tables, media platform, and a few areas of special seating (including seats for visitors, located outside the bar). The key to the chart is on Page 2 of the PDF.
This year, instead of designating each row by letter (A, B, C, etc.) we have assigned names to each row – to add a bit of flavor while reminding us of the core Christian values of Faith, Hope, Love, Truth, Justice, and Grace.
The seating itself has been done differently, too. Last year, each person authorized to sit within the bar of the conference was assigned to a specific table; tables were organized according to circuit, and circuits were organized according to district. This year, however, while people still have been seated according to their circuit, the circuits themselves have not been grouped together on the basis of district.
In other words, while last year all the circuits within a given district were located together, this time around they have been dispersed throughout the hall. Not all the Bridges circuits, for instance, are seated near each other.
Another significant change is that this time, individuals have not been assigned to a specific table, but rather to the group of tables designated for their circuit. Each person is free to choose to sit at whichever table he or she wishes, from among those assigned to his or her circuit.
ATEMs, along with any retired clergy for whom we have no church on record in our database, have been seated randomly throughout the hall.
We have set aside a few seats near the front of the hall to accommodate a limited number of people with vision or hearing impairment. Open seats are located at "Love" – Tables 120 and 121; "Truth" – Tables 167 and 168; "Justice" – Tables 211 and 212; and "Grace" – Table 270. If – after securing a seat in your assigned section – you find that you need special seating, please stop at the Pages' Table and ask for Facilities Manager Bob Peck.
Name badge changes
Name badges show the new row names, and reflect the fact that persons may choose where to sit within a range of tables (see sample badge, at right).
At the bottom of your badge, look for YOUR SEAT (in red and all caps), and underneath it, "ROW: Love TABLES: 127-134" (for example). To the right of that information you will see SECTION (in red and all caps), and beneath it the location of the section to which you have been assigned – for instance, "Room 308" – rather than the name of the section. That change was made to help you get to your section meeting quickly: Now you can simply consult your name badge, rather than looking up your section on a list to find out where it is meeting.
A final noteworthy change is in the appearance of the name badge holders. These plastic sleeves have been color-coded to help ensure that only those who are authorized to be within the bar of the conference are, in fact, seated there. Those with voice and vote have been given a red badge holder, those with voice/no vote have been given a blue badge holder, and visitors have been given a clear badge holder. It is hoped that the color-coding will be helpful to the pages when they are required make a hand count of a vote.
Please note that you may see a handful of people with clear badge holders inside the bar. Chaperones for youth, and anyone accompanying a member with special needs who requires assistance – while in the "visitors" category – is allowed to be seated within the bar of the conference to perform their necessary duties. (However, they do not have voice or vote.)
On Wednesday, registration tables will be located in their familiar spot in the hallway outside our meeting space – although since we are using only Hall A, this year, they will be farther west than usual (nearer the escalators). Pick up your registration packet there if you are clergy or are considered pre-registered by virtue of office, or if you pre-registered as a visitor.
If there is no packet in your name at the registration table, you must register upstairs in the conference offices (Rooms 304-305). At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, all registration will move to Rooms 304-305 and will remain there until the conclusion of ACS.