Why Was the 4As San Fran Planning Conference Canceled?

By Matt Van Hoven 

Nancy Hill, CEO of the 4As, sent an e-mail to people who were set to attend the 4As Planning Conference in San Francisco, saying the event has been canceled. These are “difficult economic times,” Hill notes in the first line. “Given the new budget reality that we’re all facing, it seems appropriate for our Planning Conference to take a hiatus until next year…”

We checked with a 4As rep. who told us straight up that there weren’t enough registrations to warrant going ahead with the event.

“[4As] weren’t getting the registrations that we hoped for (and for many, travelling [sic] all the way to California was cost prohibitive), so we decided to put the conference on hiatus this year, and re-launch next year, bigger and badder.”

A source writes to tell us that a few years back, the planning conference fell on the same day as PSFK’s New York City Conference, and that most of the folks who might’ve gone to the 4As chose instead to go to New York. So there’s that.

Well, whatever the case, sooner or later the conference circuit was going to feel the pain thanks to our economy. And being that the event was slated for August, it’s not really surprising. They had SXSW, Cannes, Advertising Week and a number of other major events to content with. Yeah, this is a big deal for planners, but the money is drying up.

Not to worry though, as “The Summer of Planning,” which is “a bunch of smaller (and less expensive) live events, Webinars and real-time blogs” will be rolled out by the 4As in the next couple of weeks. More on that later.

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