Welcome to Convention/Conference

I'm here to officially welcome you all to the thirty-second annual convention of the American Association of Media Practitioners and Developers. It's entirely appropriate that this year's convention take place over Columbus Day Weekend, when we honor an explorer who bravely set out to explore new worlds. This year's convention, focusing on “Cutting Edge Developments in New Media,” offers all of us the opportunity to explore exciting new terrain. I invite all of you to approach this year's events with Columbus's “spirit of discovery” in mind, taking advantage of the many ways in which you too might explore the unfamiliar — and discover a great deal in the process.

First, the various panels that have been organized for the next three days promise exciting revelations for all who attend them. Each panel, which will consist of at least three renowned speakers who are experts in their respective fields, will address a major topic or issue related to New Media, such as “Children's Safety and the Net” and “Synergies: Aligning New Media with Other Entertainment Venues.” You might learn more about a topic with which you were already familiar; or you might also find yourself discovering a whole new world of ideas and information you didn't know existed. Either way, you'll have many opportunities to explore fascinating new terrain with these reputable speakers.

Second, the key note address will provide, for all of us, an important window into the world of the future. We are privileged to have as our key note speaker Margaret Anderson, the chair of the Media Studies program at Harvard University and the acclaimed author of the international bestseller Mediaworld, who is widely regarded as the world's leading expert in the analysis of the societal effects of media technologies. In her address, titled “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow: The New Media Future,” Dr. Anderson will assess the various ways in which current new media technology is shaping the future. That address will take place tomorrow, following lunch, in the Crystal Ballroom.

Third, throughout the conference, you are invited to explore the “New Media Technologies” trade show on the convention floor, where you're likely to make any number of thrilling discoveries. Here, you'll find various demonstrations and samples of the latest Internet products, services, and technologies being developed — including the first “virtual reality” Web site, and an “interactive movie database.”

Finally, as you attend these various events, keep in mind that other people can also serve as doorways to new worlds. Hearing of someone else's background and experiences can often make for fascinating discoveries that can educate and profoundly affect us. So take advantage of this rare gathering of hundreds of people working in the same field to meet one another, talk with one another, and learn from one another.

In conclusion, I welcome you once again to our thirty-second annual convention: “Cutting Edge Developments in New Media.” Now, to quote another great explorer, it's time for you to “boldly go where no man has gone before, to explore strange new worlds.” Enjoy the journey.

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