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CEO DATELINE – Baltimore to host zoos and aquariums conference

Aug. 6, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has selected Baltimore to host the group’s 2021 annual conference—an important boost for a city that has lost at least two association conferences in recent years.

The city’s visitor’s bureau, Visit Baltimore, announced Monday that AZA will hold its 2021 conference in the Baltimore Convention Center. The event is expected to bring in 2,500 attendees and generate more than $3 million in economic impacts for the city.

In a statement, AZA CEO Dan Ashe noted Baltimore is home to two association members: The Maryland Zoo and the National Aquarium.

“The teams at the National Aquarium and The Maryland Zoo have established a stellar local planning committee we know will help organize one of our best annual conferences yet,” Ashe said.

The announcement is a win for the Baltimore’s events industry, which has seen several high-profile events move to other cities, including conferences held by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American Society of Human Genetics. Earlier this year, the Maryland General Assembly allocated millions of dollars in state funding for a proposed convention center expansion to help make the city more competitive in drawing trade shows and other events.

AZA’s annual conference rotates among cities. This year’s event is Sept. 7-11 in New Orleans while the 2020 conference will be held in Columbus, Ohio.