The NCMC Executive Committee, meeting on October 14, 2009, authorized that all future conferences beginning with the 2010 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, scheduled to take place October 20-23, 2010, be sited at educational facilities managed and operated by the urban court host rather than locating the event at a hotel. Under this plan, the Conference avoids the usual and customary contractual entanglements and expenses (i.e. guaranteed blocks of rooms, meal costs, etc.) that are part of destination hotel events. Afterhours dinners, receptions, and meetings may then be scheduled in a variety of locations in the Conference city convenient to those attending the Annual Meeting. Also, participants are free to select their own accommodations whether that means staying at hotels near the educational sessions or with friends or family in the area.
“This new way of operating will not only cut NCMC’s exposure and costs for annual meetings and education sessions, but permit attendees to have a broader choice in seeking their own lodging,” commented Rufus King, Washington D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge and NCMC Board Chairperson. “Many urban courts have training and education facilities that rival those offered by hotels. What’s more, these venues are in the midst of active metro courts where conferees can witness first-hand some of the excellent and special programs offered by a host metro court. Courts learn from each other; it’s one of the most effective ways the National Conference can facilitate change and improvement.”
The National Center for State Courts, a public benefit corporation dedicated to court improvement which acts as the secretariat and association services agent for the Conference, has started to move in this direction with their educational arm, the Institute for Court Management. “It is necessary to develop more cost-effective ways to operate in the continuing tough economic climate government and courts face where travel and training funds are often the first to be axed by budget cutters,” Gordon Griller, NCMC’s Executive Director and Director of Trial Court Leadership for the National Center explained. “In this business model, a full day of programming is possible since breakfasts and lunches are normally catered at the educational site and often coupled with a panel or working sessions rather than having to waste time moving back and forth from hotel dining rooms to seminar spaces,” noted Judge Charles (Tim) McCoy, Chief Judge, Superior Court of California for Los Angeles County, the host court for NCMC’s 2010 annual gathering. Judge McCoy will become President of NCMC in January 2010.