Challenging Times, Heavy Decisions: MACo’s Statement on the 2020 Summer Conference

MACo’s highly-anticipated Summer Conference, scheduled for August 19-22, 2020, will have a new look this year.

Every year, nearly 3,000 people plan to attend MACo’s Summer Conference in Ocean City, MD. The event consists of 4 days of educational sessions, a 60-booth one-day technology expo, and a 250-booth two-day tradeshow – all focusing on the needs of county governments and working toward ways to solve the governance challenges of the day.

This year, due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 public health crisis, MACo’s Board of Directors has decided to cancel the in-person Summer Conference.

Sharon Green Middleton
Sharon Green Middleton, 2020 MACo President

MACo’s President and Baltimore City Council Vice President Sharon Green Middleton issued a statement today regarding the Association leadership’s decision:

These are challenging times. Our ways of life have been uprooted and we are all working together to keep ourselves, our families, and our vulnerable community members safe. To that end, my colleagues and I on the MACo Board of Directors feel that the most responsible and respectful decision available to us is to cancel this year’s MACo Summer Conference.

This decision was not made lightly – the value that comes out of our traditional in-person event is incalculable. The understanding gained around county governance issues, the relationships built, the cost-saving partnerships formed, and the solutions discovered are hard to replace or replicate virtually. However, we’re going to try.

Read the full statement here.

2018 Summer Conference - Hogan Closing Address 1
Governor Larry Hogan, MACo Summer Conference

Governor Larry Hogan, who has always been very visible and engaged at the summer conferences, along with his cabinet leadership, offered his views, saying:

I always value the MACo conference as a place to build on our partnership for Maryland. Our Administration will look forward to opportunities ahead to collaborate and engage with counties everywhere we can.

MACo will evaluate the possibility of a virtual educational offering and will be in touch with all registered attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors to discuss options. Full refunds will be available, but MACo requests that participants wait to hear from staff directly before requesting a refund. Likewise, MACo will be in contact with all prospective speakers who submitted topic proposals to discuss next steps.

At this time, MACo does recommend participants cancel their hotel reservations.

If you have urgent questions or concerns, please contact MACo’s Member Services Director, Virginia White.