Annual Convention Canceled, Virtual Conference to be Held Instead

April 15, 2020

GMA City Officials,
Many of you have asked in recent weeks about the status of the Annual Convention, scheduled June 26-30 in Savannah.  I want to advise you that following consultation with the Officers and Executive Committee, we have made the decision to cancel the convention as an in-person event and instead hold a virtual conference.  Given the uncertainty that large gatherings will be permitted in late June and recognizing the significant adverse impact the virus has had on municipal budgets, the leadership of your Association believes this is the most prudent course of action to take this year. 
Everyone who is currently registered for the convention will be cancelled and sent a full refund in the same method as the payment was received.  All hotel reservations booked through the GMA system will be automatically cancelled.  If you booked your room outside of the GMA system, please remember to call the hotel to cancel.  You should receive a confirmation of your cancellation and refund within 3 business days.
The virtual convention will be held from Monday, June 29 to Thursday, July 2, and there will be no registration fee to participate.  We believe under the current circumstances, it’s important that as many of GMA’s 538 member cities as possible have the opportunity to take advantage of the educational programming that will be provided.  Please know that we plan to make this event a very meaningful experience for our members and provide programming that is timely, substantive and inspiring.  While the program outline has not been finalized, we anticipate offering a number of online sessions each day.  Many of the sessions will focus on sharing information, ideas and best practices to assist cities in their efforts to recover from COVID-19. Among the sessions to be included will be an opening general session with keynote speaker, workshops and an annual business meeting to elect and install GMA ‘s Officers and Board. 
We realize many of you had registered for one or more training classes to be offered at the convention, as well as classes which had been planned in early April at Brasstown Valley.  Please know that we are working with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government to determine which of these classes can be provided through virtual means.  Our goal is to begin offering classes in May and continue to offer them over the coming months.  A schedule and information on registration fees will be announced in the coming weeks.
Should you have questions about the convention, including registration and refunds, please contact Erica Grier at (678) 651-1015 or, or Janice Eidson at (678) 686-6256 or  Questions regarding online training opportunities or training in general should be directed to Aileen Harris at (678) 686-6293 or, or Alan Dickerson at (678) 686-6213 or
Thank you for support of GMA and for the leadership you are providing your city during this challenging time.

~ Larry Hanson 

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