Update on ASCA 2013 Following Tragic Events in Boston

ASCA 2013 to Proceed as Planned
6:00pm
After consultation with Boston officials, we are pleased to report that they recommend that ASCA 2013 proceed as planned. ASCA staff and consultants are in Boston and on-site preparing for your arrival. As all state and local officials have been reporting throughout the day, things are getting back to normal throughout the city. Media coverage notwithstanding, Boston is open for business and folks are traveling here without any trouble. We have had many folks here thank us for persevering and moving ahead with the meeting.

In making this decision, we first sought answers to the following key questions:

  1. Will our attendees be safe?

  2. Will our meeting interfere in any way with the investigation to find the perpetrators of this heinous act?

  3. Logistically, can we get the meeting set up in time to meet your expectations for our annual meeting?

We have received assurances on all three points. First, we have been told that the streets of Boston are safe, and that the greatly heightened security presence in the area around our meeting will be very visible. For example, the Hynes Convention Center was swept by K-9 units overnight, and visitors entering the Hynes will be subject to bag searches. As reported to you earlier, the Hynes Convention Center has stated the following:

"We would like to assure our ASCA attendees that the Hynes has been thoroughly swept and is secure. Building staff have worked--and continue to work--with Boston police to keep the building safe. Your participation in ASCA 2013 will not interfere with the ongoing investigation, but WILL help Boston get right back to life. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow."
Second, other than the Lenox hotel (one of our spill-over properties that a handful of attendees were booked in), we are not in the way of the on-site investigation. We have secured alternate housing for any registrant booked at the Lenox, which was not damaged but which is near the investigation area.

Finally, we will be working non-stop to get the exhibit hall and meeting areas prepared and ready for the event, and believe that we can stay on track in accordance with our printed schedule.

We hope that these assurances ease your mind and that you will join us in Boston for ASCA 2013. That said, some of you may not be willing to make the trip because of the emotional toll of yesterday's events. We understand, and if that is your decision, we will forgo our cancellation policy and credit your registration forward to next year's meeting in Nashville. Please let us know by close of the meeting on Saturday if you would like take advantage of this accommodation.

As we have learned all too often in recent years, we are a resilient people when faced with tragic events like yesterday's. Please keep all the victims of the attack in your thoughts in the coming days as our law enforcement officials find those responsible for this horrendous crime.

See you in Boston.

4:40pm
The ASCA Board will be meeting soon to make a final decisions regarding the status of ASCA 2013.

As previously stated, the only outstanding issue is assurance from public safety officials that our meeting will not interfere with the investigation of yesterday's attack.

A final update should be sent out within the hour.

3:40pm
We expect to have a final word from Boston public safety officials very shortly, but in the meantime there is nothing new to report.

Please stay tuned for more information.

2:40pm
While we still await a final confirmation from Boston public safety officials that our meeting won't interfere with their work (the evidence of which will be their official okay for our consultants to start setting up the Exhibit Hall-- which is expected shortly), it is clear that we will have an extremely safe environment. The Hynes Convention Center was swept by K-9 teams overnight, and there will be enhanced security employed throughout the meeting. Here is a message from the Hynes Convention Center team to you that they just posted via social media:

"We would like to assure our ASCA attendees that the Hynes has been thoroughly swept and is secure. Building staff have worked--and continue to work--with Boston police to keep the building safe. Your participation in ASCA 2013 will not interfere with the ongoing investigation, but WILL help Boston get right back to life. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow."
We just had a meeting with staff from all our hotel properties; there have been minimal cancellations.

Stay tuned for more information.

1:40pm
While no final decision has been made yet, preparations continue for an on-time start to the meeting. While we have been given approval to open registration this evening at 5:00pm on schedule, out of an abundance of caution we will postpone that until 7:00am tomorrow morning.

Stay tuned for more information as soon as we get it.

12:40pm
We want to provide you with an update on the status of ASCA 2013 in light of yesterday’s tragic event. ASCA staff has been in contact with staff of the Boston Convention Bureau and Hynes Convention Center to assure that we can proceed with ASCA 2013; right now the Hynes Convention Center team is proceeding as though the meeting will be held as originally planned.

We will be providing hourly updates on the status of that final determination via email and the ASCA 2013 web site, and as soon as a final decision has been made we will alert you immediately. Our safety concerns are being addressed (the heightened security in the area is very reassuring), but we want confirmation that our meeting will not interfere with the investigation of the attack.

Please continue to keep the victims of this tragic event in your prayers.

Exhibitors & Sponsors:
With only limited, authorized, access to the Convention Center today, exhibitor set up will begin tomorrow at 8am. Neither deliveries nor exhibitor access will be accepted until then.

Hourly updates will be available here until definitive information is available. At the moment, the airport and hotels are open and only a very small number of attendees have cancelled.

Thank you again for your continuous support and patience as we work through this situation. Be assured your safety is our priority concern.