Chicago…that’s the place to be this year in August. The 136th NGAUS General Conference and Exhibition will convene August 22nd -- 25th in beautiful Chicago, Illinois. The Arkansas delegation will be housed at the Marriott Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile Hotel located at 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611. The conference rate is $166 per night. The hotel is right in the heart of the city with plenty to do in the surrounding area. It is within walking distance of great restaurants and shops. If you’ve never had a Chicago Deep Dish pizza or hot dog, you will want to try those. The Shops at Northbridge and other department and designer stores along Michigan Avenue and State Street offer excellent shopping. And, the rides, restaurants and theaters at Navy Pier are a must see.
Four of the world’s tallest skyscrapers are in Chicago. You can stand on the clear plastic platform at the top of the Willis Tower/Skydeck where you will be suspended high above the city. Warning: It is rather spooky and may give you weak knees!
If you want to broaden your mind, be sure to visit the Field Museum, the biggest science museum in the Western Hemisphere with the most complete T-Rex dinosaur skeleton ever unearthed. Walk through the Museum of Science and Industry; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Adler Planetarium; the John Hancock Observatory; and the John G. Shedd Aquarium, the largest indoor aquarium in the world. These are just some of the many wonderful things to see and learn about our world in Chicago.
The sports enthusiasts will want to visit Wrigley Field and Soldier Stadium. If we’re lucky, we might catch a game.
All the sights and activities Chicago has to offer has surely sparked your interest, so now let’s talk about the conference itself. Airfare from Little Rock to Chicago airports is about $350 round trip (see discount information below). The conference registration fee is $165 and includes entry to all events except the NGAUS Golf Tournament, 5K Fun Run, and Retiree Luncheon for which separate fees are charged. The golf tournament will be held at the Harborside International Golf Center on August 22nd. Later that day, the Company Grade/Warrant Officer Mixer will be at Dave and Buster’s. Early on Saturday, August 23rd, enjoy the 5K Fun Run along Lake Shore Drive. Conference meetings and the trade show also begin on Saturday at McCormick Place, our Nation’s largest convention center. Be sure to come by the Arkansas hospitality room for a hot breakfast before you start your day. More information about our hospitality room will be available in a separate program that the NGAA staff will provide upon arrival. Saturday events will conclude with the Governor’s Reception at the Field Museum. There are more meetings on Sunday, August 24th, and the spouses will enjoy a luncheon at the Hyatt Hotel. Then, there’s the big hospitality event that evening. Arkansas will once again join with other SEC states to co-host a night of fun and camaraderie at the Chicago House of Blues with a “boogie night” theme (don’t forget to bring your Arkansas school colors!). Monday, August 25th, consists of meetings again and the States Dinner that evening in the McCormick Place’s Skyline Ballroom. This will be a formal event, and you will need the appropriate uniforms and attire. Tuesday, August 26th, is departure day, and we will take home many memories of an exciting 2014 NGAUS Conference.
Transportation from and to the airport and the Marriott will be at your own expense. Go Airport Express shuttle service is available at both Chicago O’Hare and Midway Airports (approximately $30.00 round trip); shuttles are available every fifteen minutes. Taxi fare is approximately $25.00 one way. The Chicago Metro runs close to the Marriott as well (one way Metro cost from the airports is approximately $6.00).Deadlines:
In order to ensure accommodations with the Arkansas delegation at the Marriott Hotel, NGAA must receive your conference registration by 8 July 2014. You may still register for the conference after 8 July; however, in that event, NGAA cannot ensure that you will have a room with the Arkansas delegation in the Marriott Hotel, and you will have to contact the Marriott at 1-888-253-1628 to reserve a room . If you register and cancel prior to 8 July, NGAA will refund your full registration to include your hotel room deposit. If you cancel after 8 July, NGAA will refund your conference registration fee but will be unable to refund the room deposit because that will have already been deposited to hold your room. No refunds will be made after 22 August. Contact NGAA as soon as possible if you need to cancel your registration (501-758-6422 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Company Grade/Warrant Officer Mixer: August 22nd, Dave & Buster’s (casual attire)
Business Sessions: August 23rd -- 25th, McCormick Place
Attire: Military: Class B Short Sleeve Open Collar (Army & Air)
Governor’s Reception: Field Museum (casual attire)
Hospitality Night: August 23rd, Chicago House of Blues (casual attire)
States Dinner: Skyline Ballroom, McCormick Place (formal attire)Air Travel Discount Information:
United: Online 5-10% Discount Use Code ZRPN Agreement Code: 950824
Telephone: 2-10% Discount Code ZRPN 1-800-426-1127 (there may be a processing fee)
American: 5% Discount Authorization Number 1884BJ Telephone: 1-800-328-1111
Delta: 2-10% Discount Meeting Ticket Designator/File Number: NMHJE (discount applies to available
fares) Telephone: 1-800-328-1111 Online: www.delta.com
To register for the conference, go to the upper right side of this page and click on the appropriate link. (If paying by Check, link is ready. Online Pay will be ready by 7 May)
Contact the NGAA office at 501-758-6422 or e-mail email@example.com for additional information and answers to your questions.Kenny