The Duolingo Esperanto course recently reached half a million learners (500,000) worldwide. Roughly 200,000 of these are in the USA. Making a few more assumptions, that's 12,000 learners in just in New York State. Even if only a few percent of the starters actually finish the course, that's still a few hundred new tree-finishers in New York State alone.
ARE is in a great position (metaphorically) to welcome these few hundred course-finishers to actually use Esperanto face to face. Based on attendance numbers over the last 12 months, ARE really is more than just a regional event. (It was bigger last year than the 2016 national Esperanto convention.) Plus, we have the time and expertise to offer beginner workshops as part of the weekend program. (We have many experienced speakers, Esperanto teachers, and professional language teachers in the ranks of our regular attendees.) It's worth driving to. It's worth flying to.
Even though I am on Duolingo every day interacting with new learners, answering their questions, and encouraging them to get involved, I have not received a lot of feedback about what would make ARE the kind of event that they wouldn't want to miss. I would appreciate your help in getting the word out. If you know any new learners, please invite them to this event either by direct message or FB invite.
To the new folks who have contacted me, THANK YOU. Let's keep in touch and make sure that ARE meets your expectations. Mi antauxgxuas renkonti vin!
Earlier discussion on this topic: https://www.duolingo.com/comment/16228630
Facebook event for Auxtuna Renkontigxo de Esperanto (ARE) https://www.facebook.com/events/878659765593725/
Official page for Aŭtuna Renkontiĝo de Esperanto 2016 http://are-esperanto.org/