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   DataBus - Vol 41 No. 2: February-March, 2001
  
Scheduled CEDPA Conferences Promise Return To Favored Venues


Year-by-year, each of us in technology determinant fields seems to be driven to shorter timelines, tactical reaction, and near-term planning. The pace of change challenges us as it becomes more and more difficult to anticipate policy swings, product offerings and 'lightning rod' issues. Still, one responsibility you may have in your home district or county office is to keep an eye on the horizon, anticipating long-term needs beyond the present and next years. Your CEDPA Board faces a similar mix of near term and long term planning in anticipating membership needs. Given all of the above it is very gratifying to have long term commitments in place for future conference facilities -- to be able to 'hang our hats' on something as far as four years away.
 
Good space is hard to find, and even harder to arrange into a schedule which will comfortably fit into the school year at a rate which our strained public education budgets can afford. An added complication is that, even with our recent extraordinary growth in conference attendance, our space demands continue to be a bit out of the norm. We're a focused group with a regional (as opposed to national) membership that limits the number of attendees, yet the support we enjoy from the vendor community demands extensive exhibit space. As a consequence, facilities to which we are attractive are somewhat limited and fill up fast.
 
About that 'recent extraordinary growth' -- the Santa Barbara Conference was our highest attended ever, both by we K-12ers and by vendors. The previous records for both members and vendors were set in Monterey, 1999 and the data are that the attendee numbers were only approached by the Monterey, 1989 Conference. Growing technology challenges and budgets certainly have a lot to do with the last few years of growth. But the importance of a suitable, comfortable venue encourages each of us to expend the effort necessary to catch up so that we are able to break away. The result is that California's community of educational technologists has a yearly window to explore possibilities and find solutions to those fore-mentioned short-term urgencies and long-term directional setting.
 
We are very pleased to announce that the CEDPA K-12 Technologists Conference will return to the Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara. Not for just another year, but for both 2003 and 2005. Not only were we happy, the resort staff and administration were impressed with the quality of the program and by the demeanor of all of us. Apparently, none of us took too many towels, trashed the putting green, or broke anything that couldn't be easily repaired.
 
This year we return to Monterey and the same exceptional DoubleTree venue as in 1999. We are getting the largest room block available, but make sure to get reservations in early. We extended to multiple adjacent facilities our last time there. Note that we are returning not only to the hotel, but hope to return to the Carmel Valley Ranch, one of the better golf courses hosting a CEDPA tournament. The following year, we return to Palm Springs, the city that so many of us enjoyed in 1996 and 1998. The 2002 venue is new to us, however, as we settle in at the beautifully refurbished Riviera Resort & Racquet Club. The 'Riv' has been a splendid attraction to many notables over the years. Do the names 'Marilyn', 'Elvis', or 'Frank' evoke memories?
 
As you review the following table you may observe a couple of things. An obvious point is that the site for 2004 is undetermined. We welcome your advice on cities and sites, whether a return to a favorite locale or something new for CEDPA. As you consider options, you may observe a second item after forty years, we have diverged from our 'odd years in the North, even years in the South' scheduling dictum. Part of that decision was driven by the opportunity to lock in Santa Barbara for those two, available years. Another factor is recognition that California is a 'tall' state that while Santa Barbara is definitely SoCal to us NorCal folk, it is still several driving hours from other southern cities. So some rotation of sites among south, north, and something akin to 'in between' is not unreasonable.
 
For your near term planning and long term visioning, here are dates to remember:
  Year Date and Location
  2001 November 14-16, Monterey
Doubletree Monterey-Fisherman's Wharf
  2002 October 16-18, Palm Springs
Riviera Resort & Racquet Club
  2003 November 19-21, Santa Barbara
Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort
  2004 To be determined
  2005 November 17-19, Santa Barbara
Fess Parker DoubleTree Resort

Any suggestions for the 2004 Conference location or feedback regarding past sites should be forwarded to Russ Brawn, email .