Why Should We Pay To Go to A.A. Events?


Why, some members have asked, do A.A.s have to pay a fee to attend an A.A. conference, convention or other special event? It’s true that A.A. membership is free, and meetings and most A.A. events are self-supporting in the spirit of the Seventh Tradition. But what about A.A. get-togethers beyond the group-meeting level, ranging from special one- or two-hour meetings to banquets and weekend events—area, statewide, regional and international?

These events require months of planning, preparation and money presented upfront to the hotel and other business facilities involved. Additional expenses include the printing of flyers, schedules, postage and supplies, not to mention renting meeting space, insurance coverage, and travel and accommodations for the invited speakers, many of whom live a thousand miles or more from the convention site. A.A. members are not paid to share their experience, but as invited guests of a convention or conference, their expenses are generally reimbursed.

Registration fees cover costs for special events, and those who wish to participate in the Convention to pay their own way in the spirit of the Seventh Tradition. According to the aforementioned Guidelines, “there’s no substitute for common sense here; the committee must take a business-like approach to finances and keep expenditures somewhere within a conservative estimate of anticipated revenues. 


Box 459, Vol. 55, No. 4 / Fall 2009 Page 7