To all of our planetarium colleagues, welcome to the most magical place on Earth!
The 2014 Southeastern Planetarium Association (SEPA) Conference is hosted this year by the staff of the Emil Buehler Perpetual Trust Planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, Fla., just 25 minutes north of downtown Orlando and less than an hour away from most of Central Florida’s world-famous attractions. Because our theme is “Wish Upon A Star,” we intend to create a conference experience unlike any you’ve had before – someplace where all of your planetarium dreams can come true!
This is a conference built from the ground up to serve the needs of our SEPA membership, our vendors and planetarium professionals from around the country and the rest of the world. We have a multitude of opportunities for workshops, paper sessions, delegate dome time and professional development.
For our vendors, we are planning a conference that will allow you to showcase your products and services in a number of unique settings – but also provide a conference experience that will give you the chance to participate fully in the proceedings! And for our keynote on Friday night, we welcome astronomy educator extraordinaire Pamela Gay to discuss our role in educating the public about all things science and astronomy.
We know that 2014 is an international IPS year, and the cost of attending this year may be just too high for many planetariums in our region. Because of this, we have stayed cognizant of the economic situations that many of our facilities are experiencing and have tried to keep our costs as low as we can while providing the maximum value and return on investment. SEPA 2014 will cost $225 for standard registrations (with a $25 discount before April 30!) and $125 for part-time and undergraduate registrations. We know that we need to develop a brand-new generation of planetarium professionals; why not let SEPA 2014 be the conference that showcases the planetarium industry to them? Registration can be completed by visiting the Registration page.
Our facilities this year are exquisite! Our Buehler Planetarium was built in 1987 and is located on Seminole State College's Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. The centerpiece of our facility is our beloved Minolta MS-8 opto-mechanical star projector, but we have deftly bridged the gap between “traditional” and full-dome facilities. We boast the first installation of the Elumenati GeoDome Evolver 500 series fisheye projection system, powered by Uniview. Additionally, we have a 30-foot Astro-Tec dome with 55 Greystone seats, as well as the incomparable ChromaCove NanoCove LED lighting system. Our self-designed audio system is a powerful 4.1 system with incredible flexibility for all sorts of uses. The intimate nature of our dome, combined with our unique architecture and history, will provide a truly unforgettable experience for every conference visitor.
Our conference hotel is the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, located in Lake Mary, Fla., about 15 minutes away from our campus. The 304 rooms are well-appointed, and we will be utilizing more than 11,000 square feet of conference space for the vendor hall and paper/workshop sessions. The Marriott has locked in a rate of $130/night for SEPA attendees, which includes two complimentary buffet breakfasts. With such a competitive rate and a perfect location, bringing along your family is a great idea – why not stay a couple extra days and enjoy all that Central Florida has to offer?
As always, the SEPA Conference is a function of SEPA, the Southeastern Planetarium Association. Active planetarians and vendors throughout the world are welcome to attend this professional event, but a form of membership is necessary. See the SEPA website for details on types of membership. Membership dues can be paid with registration to the conference.
One of the lines from the “Mickey Mouse Club” theme song seems appropriate as we gear up for July 2014: "See you real soon!"
If you prefer to use the U.S. Postal Service, please use the following address to get in touch with the hosts:
Emil Buehler Planetarium
Seminole State College of Florida
100 Weldon Blvd.
Sanford, FL 32773