Hi FAST! We're the organizers of The Animal & Vegan Advocacy (AVA) Summit, and we are excited about the Summit in DC this May 16-19, 2024. Ask us anything!

By David van Beveren, Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T16:07 (+6)

Note: This AMA is now live. Please ask your questions below!

Welcome to our Ask Me Anything session with the Animal & Vegan Advocacy (AVA) Summit organizers.

With the AVA Summit DC just around the corner (May 16-19), now's the time to get your questions about the event answered. From speaker applications to VIP networking, Grantees' Day details, exciting aspects of our programming, and anything/everything in between, we're here to provide insights and information. Ask away!

Click here to learn more about the AVA DC event and register.

Questions are answered live by:

We can't wait to answer your questions!

Note: This AMA is now live. Please ask your questions below!


Che Green @ 2024-04-03T16:36 (+2)

The AVA hotel is fully booked for all dates, it seems. Will you be opening another block of rooms and/or do you have a list of nearby hotels you would recommend?

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T16:45 (+3)

Hi, Che! I’m Amanda Cramer, the Event Manager. Our hotel block is SOLD OUT.....but fear not! We've secured 35 rooms at the Courtyard Marriott Pentagon South, just 1 KM/.6 Miles away from the AVA Hotel.

Hurry—these rooms will go fast! Book now to secure this rate ($199 + tax) before it's too late! The last day to book is April 29th, or until rooms sell out.

https://www.marriott.com/event-reservations/reservation-link.mi?id=1712095613513&key=GRP&app=resvlink


 

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:30 (+1)

Hi Che,

Amie here! In addition to this information, inevitably, this block will also sell out. Rooms tend to go super fast! When in doubt, you can always head to our DC event page to find the latest updates and news about the hotel (and everything else event-related!)

Also, please join us on our AVA International Slack channel for any/all upcoming wonders you may have! We are always there to provide information and help.

Che Green @ 2024-04-03T17:00 (+1)

Thanks! Booked, but Marriott is very unclear about the cancellation policy. 

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:07 (+2)

If you booked with our link it is 48 hours before check in time! 

Che Green @ 2024-04-03T17:15 (+1)

Thank you again! Super helpful. 

Vikram Singh @ 2024-04-03T16:35 (+2)

Any recommendations on where to stay in DC that has nice vegan food nearby? :) 

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:06 (+1)

Hi Vikram! Hi! I’m Amanda Cramer, the Event Manager. Our event is technically in Alexandria Virginia, just over the bridge from the Capital. We have partnered with Planted Society to bring their Plant Based Initiative to Alexandria! Keep your eyes out for news about our exciting restaurant offers! 

As far as where to stay, our hotel block is SOLD OUT.....but fear not! We've secured 35 rooms at the Courtyard Marriott Pentagon South, just 1 KM/.6 Miles away from the AVA Hotel.

Hurry—these rooms will go fast! Book now to secure this rate ($199 + tax) before it's too late! The last day to book is April 29th, or until rooms sell out.

See you in May! 

Vikram Singh @ 2024-04-03T17:23 (+1)

Thank you!

James Morgan @ 2024-04-03T17:42 (+1)

There is an absolutely amazing Ethiopian restaurant within walking distance! Although I definitely recommend following Amanda's advice, Planted Society have some fantastic collaborations.

James Morgan @ 2024-04-03T16:32 (+2)

What are some little known facts, or behind the scenes info you can share about AVA that might surprise an average attendee?

Also, what are you as organisers most looking forward about the upcoming summit?

I can't wait to be there!

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:16 (+2)

Hi James, Amie here! One interesting piece of information that might surprise an average attendee is that our attendees come from all over the world; in our last US event alone (Los Angeles 2023), we had attendees from 48 countries! 

One of the things I am looking forward to most this year in AVA DC is coming together in community from around the world, and feeling rejuvenated and inspired from all of the incredible advocates working together in this space. It is sincerely one of my favorite aspects of our events! 

Can’t wait to see you in May!

Taylor Waters @ 2024-04-03T17:04 (+1)

Hi James, Taylor here! I am most excited about getting to see everyone again and watching all of our hard work go out into the world!

Dan Cooper @ 2024-04-03T17:35 (+1)

This will be my first time to D.C. are there any off-program activities happening before or after the Summit?

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:44 (+1)

Hi Dan, I’m Amanda Cramer, the Event Manager. We added a ton of new features this year! 

  • Meet Up Day! 
  • Rosie's Farm Sanctuary is offering special tours Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday
  • D.C. Local Max Broad is leading Lincoln Assassination Tour Wednesday evening, or join the self-led Monuments at Night tour
  • Wrap up Wednesday night with D.C. Vegan Drinks
  • Thursday we have a Library of Congress visit
  • Meditation workshops
  • Sunday Afternoon Soccer Game

And more! See all the details here! 

We look forward to meeting you in May! 

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:38 (+1)

Hi Dan, I’m Julia, AVA International’s Executive Director. This post might be helpful for you: https://forum.fastcommunity.org/posts/zJ6PkchvLyGvowkd4/how-do-you-benefit-most-from-attending-the-ava-summit?utm_campaign=post_share&utm_source=link 

Dan Cooper @ 2024-04-03T17:30 (+1)

When will the program be published?

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:40 (+1)

Hi Dan, Amie here. Thank you so much for this question. I was hoping someone would ask it! 

We are publishing the official program TODAY between 12-2 pm PT. We are just finishing up adding it to our website and will announce it across social media as soon as it is complete! 

Feel free to check that link above any time after 2 pm PT today and it will be there!

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:46 (+1)

How exciting! 

Alexia @ 2024-04-03T17:27 (+1)

Hello everyone! This will be my first time attending. What recommendations do you have for a first-time assistant? 
Also, could someone please confirm the starting time for Grantee Day? We'll be staying at a different hotel that day and want to ensure we arrive on time. Thank you! :)

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:32 (+1)

Hi Alexia, Julia here. This post might be helpful for you: https://forum.fastcommunity.org/posts/zJ6PkchvLyGvowkd4/how-do-you-benefit-most-from-attending-the-ava-summit?utm_campaign=post_share&utm_source=link 

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Alexia Dean @ 2024-04-03T17:39 (+1)

Thank you Julia!

Taylor Waters @ 2024-04-03T17:31 (+1)

Hi Alexia! Taylor here, Grantee Day runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m on Thursday, May 16th. However, the appointments will depend on a variety of factors! Selected organizations will receive their appointment(s) in a few weeks. If selected, you'll know your appointment well in advance.

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:35 (+1)

Thanks, Taylor! Hi Alexia! 

You will still want to arrive on time on Thursday morning to participate in the many Meet Up and Networking Sessions on Thursday. You can learn more about them here. 

Alexia Dean @ 2024-04-03T17:39 (+1)

Thank you Taylor and Amanda!

Franka Schoening @ 2024-04-03T17:07 (+1)

Hi everyone. I was wondering when info will be shared for exhibitors regarding booth set up times, exhibit times, shipments to the hotel etc. 

 

Thanks so much for all your hard work. So excited for May already!

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:23 (+1)

Hi Franka, Amie here. In addition to the policy page and Amanda's provided information below, we also have this information (and so much more!) on our DC event FAQ page. Also, I invite you to connect with us on our Slack channel at any time for any/all questions you may have.

Join us on our AVA International Slack here: https://impactfulanimal.slack.com/archives/C059QEFMWUF

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:14 (+1)

Hi Franka! 

As Taylor mentioned you can find those details and more on our AVA Policies Page

For ease, you can see all the details below: Exhibitor registration and load-in will begin at 2pm on Thursday, May 16th. Please make every effort to finish setting up by 6pm.

Exhibitor tear-down will begin at 2PM on the 19th.

While we encourage you to table any time from 8 - 5 PM on the 17-18th, and 8 - 2 PM on the 18th. peak exhibit hours will be during breaks and lunches. We ask that a staffer be at your table for those peak exhibit hours, with the others being optional.

Please follow the exact details below to ship your exhibit supplies. If you are sending swag, please make sure it is shipped and labeled separately per the instructions.

While we encourage you to table any time from 7 - 1:00 PM on the 17-19th, peak exhibit hours will be during breaks and lunches. We ask that a staffer be at your table for those peak exhibit hours, with the others being optional.

Registered exhibitors have access to all AVA Summit provided meals.

Please note nothing can be affixed to the hotel walls. If you have signage, please come prepared with pipes or easels.

Preferred Printer

Save time, shipping costs, and carbon emissions by using our preferred printer! The AVA Summit has teamed up with a local print shop, Digi Quick Print, to offer you a 10% discount on printing services, free delivery to the hotel, and a go-to plan for any last minute needs.

To qualify for this deal please contact both brian@digiqp.com and matt@digiqp.com and mention the AVA Summit.

Note: For simple jobs please give 2-5 business days notice. For larger and more complicated jobs please allow 7-10 business days. *If your project is for the Swag Bags please take special note of the instructions listed below.

Shipping to the hotel

Please keep note of your tracking number - if the hotel is looking for your package that is how they will find it

Attn: Sales/Convention Services

Guest Name - AVA Summit Hilton Alexandria Mark Center 5000 Seminary Rd Alexandria, VA 22311, United States

Due to the limited storage space, packages may be delivered to the Hotel three working days prior to the date of the function. Please note the below charges will reflect on your guest room or invoice. Please follow the below instructions to ensure your packages arrive in the correct place!

Incoming Packages are handled as follows: Express Envelopes are complementary and are held at the front desk. Packages/Boxes are charged at $6.00 each. Pallets are charged at $150.00 each. Cases/Crates are charged at $75.00 each.

Outgoing packages are handled as follows: Express Envelopes are complementary and can be sent from the front desk. Packages/Boxes are charged at $6.00 each. Pallets are charged at $150.00 each. Cases/Crates are charged at $75.00 each. Handling charges cannot be collected by the shipper’s account number, therefore please pay handling charges with one of the following methods: cash, check, or credit card.

There is a printer if you need to print off labels, but there is no shipping office at the hotel. We recommend bringing pre-paid labels if possible and scheduling a pick-up with your shipping provider.

Swag Shipping - The first 500 attendees will receive a swag bag at registration. If you are a Silver Sponsor or above or have otherwise arranged to include an item in our attendee Swag Bag, please make sure your swag items arrive by Tuesday, May 14th. We will build the bags on the 15th. Items received after the 14th are not guaranteed to be included in the bags.

Please keep note of your tracking number - if the hotel is looking for your package that is how they will find it

Attn: Sales/Convention Services

AVA SWAG - Your Org

Hilton Alexandria Mark Center

5000 Seminary Rd

Alexandria, VA 22311, United States

Exhibit Needs

If you purchased a WiFi/Power Upgrade, or are a Sponsor at any level, your A/V needs should be taken care of already! Additional requests may result in charges from the hotel.

→ Please contact Amanda@AVASummit.com for further hotel related questions


 

Franka Schoening @ 2024-04-03T17:44 (+1)

Thanks so much, Amanda, for sharing this. I will read through it in detail and follow up with any questions via email if needed. See you next month!!

Taylor Waters @ 2024-04-03T17:10 (+1)

Hi Franka, Taylor here! You can see all the exhibitor information and shipping information in our Policies page, and the Exhibitor Instruction emails being sent on April 5th and May 3rd!

https://www.avasummit.com/policies

David van Beveren @ 2024-04-03T17:07 (+1)

Hi AVA team, fantastic to have you here with us today!

Thanks! :)

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:49 (+1)

Hi David! Thanks for the questions. 

Talking about features of the Whova app, one may wonder, when and how can Whova be accessed?

We are publishing Whova for event communications in mid-April. Everyone will receive an email notification to the same email address that they used to register when it has been published, which is the same email everyone will need to use in order to login and access the AVA DC event.

For any further questions, I invite all who are interested to join our AVA International Slack channel -- we are always there to chat and answer questions!

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:22 (+1)

Hi David, we’ve actually gotten pretty good feedback on Whova in general from our attendees – most of them are using it to see who is coming and arrange 1:1 meetings with other attendees. 

The defining difference between AVA Events and other conferences is that our audience consists of dedicated individuals working or looking to work in the animal and vegan advocacy movement professionally. Our audience consists of >80% full-time advocates working for organizations (using all kinds of strategies) towards our shared goals. We are an “internal facing” event, not targeting the mainstream. The beauty of this — and that’s what most of our speakers tell us — is that we can truly speak as animal advocates, use the term vegan, and don’t "need to" wrap up our content for a more mainstream audience. 

Another thing that makes us unique is the amount of international attendees and speakers. We’ve had 48 nations represented at our last US Summit!

AmandaCramerEvents @ 2024-04-03T17:18 (+1)

Hi David, I’m sorry I got you addicted to Cheddalicious Plant Based Snacks. I’m glad to know you’ll be giving them away at the VH Exhibit Table at AVA D.C. 

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:39 (+1)

People will LOVE your table;)

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:43 (+1)

I will definitely stop by to try some of these snacks I've heard so much about!

Joaquín Triñanes @ 2024-04-03T17:05 (+1)

Could you tell us about a speaker or session from this conference that you're particularly excited about and why?

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:35 (+2)

Hi Joaquín, My name is Amie, great to e-meet you! 

I’m truly excited about all of our speakers, but particularly excited about Ed Winters’ (Earthling Ed) presence this year during our Closing Ceremony. I’ve been following, reading, and have been generally greatly inspired by Ed’s advocacy and excellent ability to debate and navigate challenging topics while keeping calm and centered.

I’m also very excited for the session with Leah Garces and Brialle Ringer, Personal Transformation for Collective Liberation, where we will explore avenues of increased empowerment and strategies to elevate leadership from a place of wellness.

Why? Because it is all essential for movement progress! And I am particularly interested in navigating challenging conversations, collective liberation, and personal transformation.

Taylor Waters @ 2024-04-03T17:08 (+2)

Hi Joaquín! Taylor here. I am so excited about all the new speakers coming this year who haven’t had a chance to speak yet! I am most excited about pattrice jones and our Uniting Voices series! 

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:35 (+1)

Hi, I’m Julia, AVA International’s Executive Director. I'm very excited about the fact that we are (mostly) setting up discussion panels instead of standalone keynotes this year. We also had great creative workshop submissions! 

Gabriele Bernotaite @ 2024-04-03T16:58 (+1)

Hi AVA! I'm so excited to join everyone in D.C., thanks for doing this AMA!

When it comes to the conferences in Brazil and Vietnam, if you had to pick just one to attend, do you lean towards a favorite? Why?

Amie Albright @ 2024-04-03T17:18 (+1)

Hi Gabriele, this is Amie—what a great question! It is too hard, if not impossible, for me to choose just one to attend. Each event is unique to the respective culture and region, which is what makes our events so relevant and special. So, each event is equally my favorite for its own unique reasons and regional movement elevation potential.

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:04 (+1)

Hi, I’m Julia, AVA International’s Executive Director. If you don’t have any specific travel preferences or if your role is not directly related to any of the regions, I would recommend checking out AVA Latin America because we are trying out a new concept: A collaboration with the huge Sao Paulo VegFest this year! They had over 8,000 attendees in 2023 and tons of interesting exhibitors. (Shoutout to our partners at SVB!)

Taylor Waters @ 2024-04-03T17:04 (+1)

Hi Gabriele, Taylor here! That’s too hard to choose! I would lean towards the one which would add the most to my projects and roles. Both Brazil and Viet Nam offer incredible networking and learnings for folx working on projects in those regions. 

Annika Quist @ 2024-04-03T16:58 (+1)

Thanks so much for organizing! Might be getting ahead of myself, but - do you have tentative ideas for the 2025 conference location? 

Julia Reinelt @ 2024-04-03T17:09 (+1)

Hi Annika, I’m Julia, AVA International’s Executive Director. We do but we don’t want to give away too much just now :) Let’s say – if funding permits – we will be returning to the US West Coast, we’re looking at India for our next event in Asia, we’re considering a Spanish speaking country for Latin America, and… potentially adding a smaller conference with some partners on the African continent which we are really excited about!