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Annual conference of the Southeastern Planetarium Association, now a joint conference with WAC (western alliance planetariums)

5/31/2016 to 6/4/2016
When: 5/21/2016
Where: W.A. Gayle Planetarium
Troy University
United States
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From Rick Evans, director of the W.A. Gayle Planetarium:

Conference Update:

As most of you know, IPS 2016 is in Warsaw, Poland in late 2016. SEPA has attempted to mitigate potential scheduling conflicts encountered by planetarians and vendors/sponsors who typically may attend both IPS and SEPA conferences. SEPA adjusted its conference dates form its usual mid-June period to May 31st thru June 4th. This separates SEPA from IPS by 3 weeks. SEPA will host its conference at the W.A. Gayle Planetarium in Montgomery, Alabama. Write it down….SEPA Conference, Montgomery Alabama May 31st -June 4th, 2016 .

SEPA astutely recognizes that the success of these conferences is in a large part directly attributed to the support they receive from the vendors/sponsors year after year. We recognize that particularly in IPS years, vendor/sponsors incur overseas travel expenses and their tradeshow dollars must be allocated prudently. SEPA (as well as WAC) is attempting to help lessen the 2016 conference financial encumbrances for our vendors/sponsors as well as delegates, recognizing there is economy of scale with joint conferences. I am pleased to announce on this forum that the SEPA 2016 will be a joint conference with our colleagues in WAC. Write it down….SEPA/WAC Conference, Montgomery Alabama May 31st -June 4th 2016.

I am elated, honored and humbled that WAC has agreed to this collaborative conference in 2016. I don’t take it lightly that their journey to this conference is a prolonged trek, and a colossal sacrifice on their part. Vendors/sponsors, I hope you too see the value in the effort WAC is making to join with SEPA. The end-goal for both SEPA and WAC is to have a successful conference, for planetarians and vendors/sponsors alike. Personally, I am looking forward to the challenges this presents, knowing that I will have the opportunity to meet new colleagues and reconnect with others (notice I avoided using the word “old”) from across the country who share the same passion and enthusiasm for our profession. Write it down….SEPA/WAC Conference, Montgomery Alabama May 31st -June 4th 2016.

This will be a historic conference in that it will be the first time EVER that a SEPA conference (or any other regional planetarium conference) has been held in Alabama. The W.A. Gayle Planetarium is proud to be your host for the 2016 SEPA/WAC conference. Plans are well under way to make the conference one to remember. Write it down….SEPA/WAC Conference, Montgomery Alabama May 31st -June 4th 2016.

The W.A. Gayle Planetarium is owned by the city of Montgomery, and operated and managed by Troy University. Built in 1968, it was the home of a SPITZ STP for over 45 years. In February of 2014, the STP turned in its notice of retirement. Magna Tech Electronics (MTE) installed a Konica Minolta Super-Media Globe II in our 159 seat, 50’ dome auditorium, and now all that is missing is you…. Write it down….SEPA/WAC Conference, Montgomery Alabama May 31st -June 4th 2016.

Much of the conference information has already been posted on the web page. However please keep in mind, as the conference develops, information will continually be updated and posted on the page. Conference registration fees are being calculated and will be announced in short order. Here are just a few of the Conference highlights:

• I am ecstatic to share with you that our keynote speaker will be Mr. Eclipse…Fred Espenak. With SEPA’s forward thinking to secure the Lake Barkley State Resort Park for the 2017 solar eclipse, it is only fitting we close out the 2016 conference with the world’s foremost eclipse expert.
• Workshops will include Eclipse preparation, Worldwide Telescope, and digital photography to name a few.
• All paper sessions and vendor shows will be plenary in the W.A. Gayle Planetarium. Discounts to conference registration will be afforded to paper presenters.
• MTE has graciously stepped up to the plate to provide a 20’ dome at the conference hotel for additional show expositions.
• Field trip: We will visit the Wetumpka Meteor crater (10 miles from Montgomery). With our vendors/sponsors in mind the field trip will be conducted after the trade show is completed.
• The conference hotel is the fabulous Embassy Suites located in historic downtown Montgomery. Every room is a suite, with plenty of room and complimentary WIFI in every room. In addition, included in your room rate ($114.00) is a complimentary buffet style breakfast with omelets cooked to order, as well as two-hour afternoon social with snacks and drinks. The hotel is located approximately 3-4 miles from the Planetarium. Troy University will provide transportation between facilities for those who require it. If you are flying into Montgomery’s regional airport (Dannley field) there is also a free shuttle to/from the Embassy suites.

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