Spring Convention cancelled due to Coronavirus Pandemic.
Update: The Spring Convention had to be cancelled, but we expect to return to Eastland Suites in Urbana, which was excellent in handling the quick changes and eventual cancellation.
If you liked last fall's INBA Convention at Eastland Suites in Urbana, we have great news! We are returning to the same location for our spring convention April 24-26, 2020.
You may recall that we were planning to hold our Spring 2020 Convention in Rockford. Our president, Josh Morgan, worked very hard to secure the brand new Embassy Suites in downtown Rockford as our convention site. We had a signed contract, and everything seemed to be in order.
Then, two weeks ago, Josh got a call from Embassy Suites saying that the sleeping rooms in their hotel wouldn't be ready in time for our convention. They offered a room block at another Hilton property across town, and to shuttle us to the event space at Embassy Suites, but there would have been additional costs, both for our organization, and for those attending the convention. In addition, there was no other suitable venue available in Rockford for that weekend.
We began exploring other options, and found that Eastland Suites in Urbana had just enough available space, both for events, and for sleeping rooms. Because they've been great to work with for at least two past conventions, we jumped on the opportunity to get it finalized. I encourage you to reserve your room as soon as possible by calling 800-253-8331 and asking for the INBA room block. The Illinois Marathon is also happening in Champaign-Urbana that weekend, and other rooms could be hard to come by if you don't reserve one in our block. The deadline to reserve a room in the INBA room block is Tuesday March 24.
If you're a runner, you may want to take part either in the 5k run/walk on Friday night, or one of the races on Saturday morning (10k, half marathon, full marathon). All of them finish at the 50-yard line inside Memorial Stadium. Find details at illinoismarathon.com.
As for convention programming, Mark Murray, NBC News' senior political editor, is confirmed as our keynote speaker!
Mark can regularly be seen on MSNBC and has made several appearances on Meet the Press. Mark is also the editor of the networks First Read blog along with NBC Political Director Chuck Todd. Mark joined NBC News in 2003 and resides in Washington, D.C. Mark will provide invaluable insight and a peek behind the curtain to NBC's comprehensive political coverage right in the middle of primary season. Mark is a can't-miss speaker, especially in a presidential election year.
Mark Murray – NBC News
In addition, we have an informative Saturday morning session on money in politics with Pete Quist and Stacey Montemayor from the National Institute on Money in Politics
. The institute runs the free website followthemoney.org, which tracks political campaign spending in all 50 states, including Illinois. Of course, every spring we also team up with the Associated Press to recognize the outstanding work done by news broadcasters the previous year.
Pete Quist, National Institute on Money in Politics
Room rates for the convention are as follows:
- Double-double rooms (two double beds, mini-fridge, microwave) $89 per night. Sleeps up to four.
- Single king suites (one king bed, living room with pullout couch, mini-fridge, microwave) $99 per night. Sleeps up to four.
- Courtyard king suites (one king bed, living room with pullout couch, full kitchen) $109 per night. Sleeps up to four.
- Double queen suites (two queen beds, living room with pullout couch, mini-fridge, microwave) $139 per night. Sleeps up to six.
We are still finalizing our sessions, but here is a rough schedule for the weekend:
- 6:00-8:00 p.m. — Welcome reception in Eastland 2. Cash bar.
- Dinner on your own.
- 8:55 a.m. — President's welcome.
- 9:00 – 11:45 a.m. — Session 1. Follow the Money (one 10 minute break in the middle). Ballroom.
- 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. — Lunch/business meeting. Ballroom.
- 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. — Student tape critiques. Illini Room
- 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. — Session 2. Polling 101. Ballroom.
- 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. — Session 3. Ballroom.
- 3:00 – 4:00 pm. — Breakout session. Reporting in a Small Market. Illini Room.
- 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. — Breakout meetings. IPR, AP, INBA Foundation. Illini Room, Lobby.
- 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. — Cocktail/Networking Hour. Ballroom.
- 7:00 p.m. — Dinner. Ballroom.
- 7:30 p.m. — Keynote speaker Mark Murray of NBC News.
- 8:00 p.m. — SINBA Awards.
- 8:30 p.m. — AP News Broadcasting Awards.
- 10:00 p.m. — Past Presidents' Reception. Illini Room.
- 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. — Session 4. Ballroom.
- 10:30 a.m. — Brunch. Ballroom.
- 10:55 a.m. — Closing Resolution. Ballroom.
We hope to see you in Urbana April 24-26!