The First-Timers’ Guide to MACo’s Winter Conference

MACo’s Winter Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel at 100 Heron Blvd, Cambridge, MD 21613 from January 7-9, 2015. If next week will be your first time attending MACo’s Winter Conference – or any MACo conference – then, this is the post for you!

First, WELCOME – we’re glad to have you join us and we look forward to working with you as we shape Maryland’s policy landscape.

Second, here is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers – we hope these help as you prepare for the conference next week. If you have any other questions, pleased don’t hesitate to contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.

    • Where do I go when I arrive at the Hyatt?
      If you’re staying overnight at the Hyatt, you can go to the front lobby and try to check into your room. It may not be available yet, depending on the time of day you arrive, but it’s worth checking. Then, follow MACo’s big blue signs to the convention center. You’ll need to check-in at our registration desk to receive your namebadge, meal tickets, and a packet of information for the conference. This map of the Hyatt shows the entire Hyatt campus. You can enter either at the Main Lobby Entrance or the Convention Center Entrance. The MACo Registration Desk will be in the section marked “Prefunction” on the map.


    • Where can I park?
      Self-parking is complimentary and you can do so anywhere on the Hyatt campus. Valet parking is an additional fee.


    • How will I know where to go and when? Is there a Program of Events?
      When you check-in, you will be given a Program booklet. You can preview it now online. The schedule – including all descriptions, dates, times, and locations – is also available through our Mobile App. All registered attendees will receive an email inviting them to log-on to the mobile app.


    • How do I access the Mobile App?
      Go into the app download center on your phone or tablet (AppStore, GooglePlay, etc.). Search “Mobile MACo.” The download is free, but only registered conference attendees will be able to access the content. You can also go to on your device to begin the download. You’ll need to sign in with your username and password, which will be emailed to you from MACo. If you need help logging in, just stop by the MACo registration desk.


    • I’m registered for the Newly Elected Officials Orientation – where do I go?
      If you’re a newly elected county official and you plan to attend the Orientation, you’ll receive a binder of information when you check in at the registration desk. From there, MACo staff will point you in the direction of the orientation room.


    • I’m enrolled/I’d like to be enrolled in the Academy for Excellence in Local Governance. What now?
      County elected officials and staff can enroll to be a Fellow in the Academy, a volunteer certificate program offering a foundation of information for anyone involved in local government. To complete the certificate, a Fellow must complete 8 Core courses and 6 elective courses over a 4-year period. MACo offers 2 Core courses and 3-4 elective courses at each Winter and Summer Conference. To earn credit for a conference session, simply attend any of the Academy-designated courses listed in the program and fill out a special Academy form at the end of the course. Return it to MACo staff or the Academy registrar for the credit to be applied to your records. A representative from the University of MD’s School of Public Policy will be on-site as an exhibitor to answer any questions you might have. Enrollment forms can be turned in or filled out on-site at the conference, at the Academy booth on the second floor foyer of the convention center.


    • I don’t have a ticket for a meal event I’d like to attend – what do I do?
      Meal tickets come with full registrations or need to be purchased separately for daily registrations. If you need to purchase additional meal tickets on-site, please visit the MACo registration desk.


    • There is incorrect information on my namebadge – can I get it reprinted?
      Yes! You absolutely can. Just bring your namebadge to the MACo registration desk and let us know you need a correction – we’ll be sure to correct our database, too, so that it doesn’t happen again.


    • Who are the exhibitors and sponsors?
      MACo’s exhibitors and sponsors are commercial or nonprofit organizations who support MACo’s conferences and events. Many offer cost-saving products and services for MACo conference attendees. Their contact information will be available in the printed program and through our mobile app. Be sure to walk through the main convention center foyer and Choptank A to meet our exhibitors and talk to them about what they can do for your county or organization.


    • What is the dress code for the Winter Conference?
      For the most part, attendees will be perfectly comfortable in business casual attire. The evening banquets are slightly more formal. Our Summer Conference is more casual. Please be sure to dress warmly – it can get very chilly in the Hyatt.


We look forward to seeing you next week. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact our office at 410.269.0043 or email Meetings & Events Director Virginia White.