Thursday Buzz: Baltimore’s Effect on Events

After unrest brings a state of emergency and curfew to Baltimore, associations cancel high-profile meetings. Plus: Is a work-life balance unrealistic?

Yesterday the Orioles and White Sox played to no fans at Baltimore’s Camden Yards just days after protests over the death of Freddie Gray, who died of spinal injuries while in police custody, turned violent and led to nearly 200 arrests and a spate of arson cases.

But that was far from the only effect that this week’s riots had on events in Baltimore. With the city currently under a nightly curfew and under watch by the National Guard, Baltimore’s meetings industry has also been affected .

Most notably, on Monday the American Heart Association canceled its Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions (QCOR 2015).

“Your safety and well-being are our highest concerns,” the association said in an announcement to attendees. “After speaking with local authorities, hotel management and the Convention and Visitors Bureau we have decided to cancel the 2015 QCOR conference due to the potential for violence.”

QCOR 2015 was to be held Wednesday through Friday at the Hilton Baltimore.

Also canceled this week was the CoNEXTions conference, a Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) event that was scheduled at the Baltimore Convention Center.

“This was a decision that was not taken lightly, but the safety and security of our members and attendees is our highest priority,” the group’s board of governors said of its unanimous decision to cancel the event.

DHI also noted the ripple effects of the cancellation.”The impact goes well beyond DHI and our exhibitors and attendees, to include service providers, speakers, as well as the local economy,” it said.

Is a Work-Life Balance a Myth?

“Work life balance died with the pager,” writer Christina R. Green argues on the MemberClicks blog.

Personal interests may simply not mesh well with your career—let alone allow you a satisfyingly balanced schedule.

“Some people will spend their entire careers fighting for it, but they’re doing themselves a disfavor,” Green wrote. “True balance is impossible.”

So how should one gain happiness in life and work? Find something you love to do. “If you find reward in your work and a flexible attitude, you’ll never feel shortchanged,” she said.

Links of the Day

Yum. The hospitality group Industree has a list of 30 innovators who have changed things for the better in the food and beverage world in Washington, DC. Check ’em out!

Get your laptops ready: Microsoft’s new version of Windows, which is coming this summer, is said to be slicker, compatible with Android, and free to download. The company hopes to have a billion devices running some form of Windows 10.

“Brands need to stop thinking about their customers as customers, and start thinking about them as friends,” Dennis Fois writes at CMSWire. The strategy might just work.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan shown with members of the National Guard this week. (Maryland National Guard/Flickr)

Patrick deHahn

By Patrick deHahn

Patrick deHahn is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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