September 30, 2016
An update for our AMTC participants….
The AAMS National Office is receiving a deluge of questions, and rightly so, via phone and through our social media feeds. We’d like to clarify the events as they unfolded over the last week, and outline our way ahead, in our ongoing effort to keep you informed.
After the tragic shootings in Charlotte on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, (Sept. 20 and 21), the declaration of a “state of emergency” in the City of Charlotte, and the deployment of National Guard and Police in the downtown areas, we had several meetings with the City of Charlotte, the convention center, and all of our other venues to assess AMTC’s requirements, our security and safety needs, and other AMTC requirements. We also asked about their plans for dealing with the declared state of emergency and the civil unrest. As the situation continued to unfold on Thursday, and we learned that more protests were being planned for Thursday, Friday, over the weekend and into this week, it became clear that we needed to assess the safety and security of our members, attendees, and our vendors. We needed to make a timely decision based on the information we had at the time. Delaying a decision would have put additional hardship on our conference attendees and exhibitors who were traveling, or were about to travel, to Charlotte. Based on the best information we had at that time, and holding the safety and security of our members, conference attendees, and exhibitors as our primary consideration, we decided to postpone the conference as scheduled.
We are, currently, negotiating with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), our conference hotels, and our other venues to determine the best way forward, but at the same time we are facing a number of challenges that must also be resolved. Despite the declared state of emergency in the City of Charlotte, the convention center, the host hotels, and many of the restaurants and other venues stated they were open and ready to receive our guests, as planned. Because of that, our event insurance does not cover postponing AMTC from its September dates. The CRVA and hotels are working with us to reschedule our dates, but some of the venues are also billing AAMS for the costs of the contracted meeting space, recreational activities, and hotel rooms that were not used this past week. As we look at possible future dates for rescheduling AMTC 2016, we need to ensure the convention center and our host hotels are available, at the same time, to accommodate AMTC and plan around the other conferences and events in Charlotte during the rest of this year.
As we resolve those issues, and many others, we will continue to communicate with you as more information becomes available. We understand the importance of giving you all as much time as possible to plan the rest of this year and next year. We are working as quickly as we can and ask for your understanding and your patience as we work the many issues.
AAMS President & CEO
AAMS Board Chairman