The 2009 Little People of America conference has started, it runs from July 4th to the 10th and members of the Roloff family are in New York City. Some conference attendees in NY informed the blog that the only Roloffs they've seen are Amy and Zach.
This is obviously not an issue with the Roloffs, in large thanks to Little People, Big World/TLC as the Roloffs will be spending the majority of this summer (as they did last summer) traveling, but have you ever thought about how difficult financially it is for some people of short-stature or parents with an LP child if the family has a modest income?
The purpose of the conference was supposed to be the one time in a year that LP had a chance to be around other people like them and to meet other LPs, to catch up with old friends, etc. If you were a little person or had a child with dwarfism, the appeal for attending the conference is obvious.
However, personally, I question the LPA's decision to hold their National Conference in New York City. Anybody who has ever been to New York City, knows how expensive it is to do anything. The LPA conference is no exception.
The LPA, obviously recognizing that they might have out-priced some LPs from joining in, was even asking for Sponsorship.
Last year, a hotel room for the LPA conference cost $99. This year they were $179 + (and that was based on 2 person, 1 bed occupancy!). If you were staying for the whole week, that is roughly $1200 for just the hotel room. You can see how pricey it would be when you factor in activities and food (again, if you've ever been to NY, you know what that means, mega $$$).
I suppose if you were an LP and you always dreamed of going to New York because it is tourist destination, the LPA conference would be a nice way to combine the two. Perhaps most LP families do plan their yearly vacation around the conference and appreciate the destination being a tourist hot spot.
Maybe that's what the LPA was thinking; choosing a city where there is lots to do would make the conference more attractive and in turn, more successful, but I wonder if they've lost their priorities. Is the appeal the conference or the night life of the city? I would rather pick a 'boring' city where the costs are affordable to all LP's then a city where the conference is going to be too expensive for many.
It seems that every year after the conference, the LPA announces that the conference was the most well attended in history, so apparently they know what they're doing. However, I'm sympathetic to the LP or LP family who would be hard pressed financially to attend knowing that their child would be looking forward to it. I think perhaps the LPA should be a more cognisant of cost, unless of course they're aiming for a Country Club style membership. However, estimations were that New York would be the most successful convention yet, so maybe cost isn't a factor or hey, perhaps the majority of LP's are just wealthy and money isn't a concern.
The 2010 LPA conference will be held in Nashville, TN. The 2011 Conference will be in Anaheim, CA.