Important Update Regarding Revised Dates for the 2024 NACRJ Conference
New Conference Dates: July 29-August 1, 2024
Due to unforeseen circumstances, and in support of our commitment to ensuring the accessibility and success of the event for attendees, we have made the decision to reschedule (adjust) the conference dates. The conference venue remains unchanged, and it will still be hosted at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.
Like many of you, we marked the original dates on our calendars earlier this year when they were first announced. For all who have already made note of the dates, we understand that this change may inconvenience some of you, and we sincerely apologize for any disruption to your plans. Please know that this decision was not made lightly, but we believe it is in the best interest of all attendees, especially given our top priority of ensuring accessibility and creating a positive attendee experience. After careful and thorough review, we firmly believe that the situation we encountered would have significantly compromised accessibility and the attendee experience. Below is a Summary of Events that details the changing circumstances we were informed of a few weeks ago that led to our decision to reschedule.
Although we've had to make some timeline adjustments, we are maintaining our schedule to open registration and issue the Call for Breakout Sessions in mid-October. Additionally, later this week, we will be announcing a Call for Conference Volunteers. Please keep an eye out for that information if you are interested in being involved in that way.
We know that the news of a date change is unexpected, and we genuinely hope it does not negatively impact you in any way. We will work diligently to ensure that this event will be even more impactful and rewarding for everyone involved.
Summary of Events
NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is holding a 75th anniversary world leaders conference July 9-11, 2024 at the Washington Convention Center which is adjoined to the Marriott Marquis. The NATO event is designated as a “national special security event” because of the large number of world leaders who will be attending. This type of security event entails a heavy security perimeter being set up which will encompass Marriot Marquis. It is anticipated that the security perimeter could be set up as early as Friday, July 5 and in place at least through Thursday, July 11, which covers the entire duration of our original conference dates. Based on the hotel’s experience with a security perimeter that was utilized for a December 2022 event, they anticipate the level of security perimeter required for the NATO event will cause notable logistical/accessibility disruptions to our event, some of which include:
- Restricted or Limited Accessibility to Hotel Parking: It is likely that access to the hotel's parking lot will be restricted or unavailable to guests.
- Road Closures and Increased Distance to Hotel: Vehicles may only be able to approach the hotel within a radius of approximately 5-6 or more blocks.
- Metro Station Closure: The nearest metro station is highly likely to be closed during the event.
- Substantial armed security presence surrounding the hotel: Guests may need to pass through a checkpoint each time they enter or exit the venue, which may involve presenting identification, proof of hotel stay, conference attendance, or similar requirements.
As a reference to the disruptions this type of security perimeter can cause, below are local DC news stories from a December 2022 event that involved a security perimeter for a smaller scale event:
- Major Security and Road Closures in Effect for Leaders Summit (NBC Washington)
- Metro advises customers of service impacts for Leaders Summit (Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority)
- Leaders summit brings road, rail closures to downtown DC (WUSA9 CBS Washington)
Upon being notified of the situation by the hotel a few weeks ago, we immediately began holding discussions and gathering information to determine our options. As the circumstances fall under our hotel contract's force majeure provisions, our hotel representatives collaborated with us to identify alternative dates for our conference. Following their assessment, the sole available slot in the summer of 2024 is July 29th to August 1st.