The COVID-19 pandemic pretty much wiped out every chance for conferences in 2020, but, now that the pandemic is winding down, conferences are a thing once again – and that holds true as well for the biggest conference for county commissioners in the country. 

The National Association of Counties (NACo) has announced that it’s holding its annual convention in-person – as well as virtually – this summer, which means that some Guilford County officials will likely make it up to Maryland for the biggest get-together of county leaders that happens every year.

County commissioners and top county officials such as county managers and county attorneys, attend the conference and discuss common issues and learn about all things related to local government.  They get caught up on the latest changes in federal legislation that affect counties. For instance, this year there will no doubt be a lot of information regarding how the massive federal Covid-19 relief funding can legally be put to use.

The convention, which will be held from Friday, July 9 to Monday, July 12, will take place in Prince George’s County, Maryland.  Ground zero for this year’s conference will be the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center on the scenic Potomac River in Maryland – less than 10 miles from downtown Washington, DC.

It will not be all business, of course.

Promotional material for the events states that the Gaylord National is “located steps away from the National Harbor Marina with dozens of shops and restaurants, The Capital Wheel and MGM National Harbor blends grand settings, luxurious rooms and world-class entertainment to delight you with a truly enchanting getaway.”

In 2020, there was no physical conference from NACo and a paired down virtual schedule of events included a “Town Hall” discussion and the organization’s annual business meeting.

This year, there will be the regular offerings: plenty of workshops on efficient and effective government, seminars on common issues facing county’s today, caucus meetings among a wide variety of subgroups of commissioners, and meetings to vote on NACo policies, leadership and which issues the group will focus on in the coming 12 months.

In 2005, the conference was held in Hawaii and The Rhinoceros Times was one of only two news outlets from the US mainland that sent a reporter to that conference to cover it.