Why do I have to pay?
Most associations like to hold conferences or conventions. In AA, however, a conference or convention is an important opportunity to share the AA experience in a broad way.
There are many AA conferences held around the world. One of the most common misconceptions about these gatherings is that they are AA meetings, and since there are no dues or fees for AA membership, there should be no fees to attend.
Conferences and conventions are special events, not regular meetings. They require months of planning, preparation, and money to present. Since most events are held in hotels or convention centers, there is a charge for use of the facilities. Along with this charge, the facility will require that the group purchase food and coffee. Other expenses include travel and lodging for the speakers, printing of flyers and schedules, postage, and supplies. A large event requires a substantial amount of money.
This convention is self-supporting. No group monies are used to pay for this event, nor do we accept outside contributions or donations of any kind. No baskets are passed. The cost of the event is paid through the registration fees. The ideal goal for any such event is to break even, therefore the registration fee is modest compared to a weekend's worth of entertainment elsewhere. Attendance is voluntary and as responsible AA members, we pay our own way.
What if I can't pay?
Scholarships are available, paid for by generous members of the AA community. To obtain a scholarship, please come to the convention and inquire at the registration desk. When you obtain a scholarship, you will be treated exactly the same as any other attendee, since your registration is fully paid.
You may also be invited to volunteer at the convention. All the committee members and many others are volunteers, and also paid registrants. Committee members and other volunteers receive no special benefits at the convention.