Inspiring speakers, more informative workshops than ever before, important policy discussions, a vibrant Trade Show, and countless networking opportunities are among the highlights of the 2019 MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show, to be held Jan. 18 and 19 in Boston.

This year, the MMA will celebrate four decades of bringing municipal officials together to articulate a clear and united municipal message, to develop and advocate for unified policies, and to share information and work together to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of municipal service delivery.

Please note: The MMA Annual Meeting will go on as scheduled, regardless of weather conditions.

At the Opening Session on Friday morning, the MMA will honor Nancy Eddy, a former Amherst selectman and the first MMA president, who presided over the first MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show in 1979.

The conference keynote speaker will be Anna Maria Chávez, the executive vice president and chief growth officer at the National Council on Aging and one of the “World’s Greatest Leaders,” according to Fortune magazine.

Senate President Karen Spilka will be the featured speaker at the sold-out Women Elected Municipal Officials luncheon on Friday. The Friday dinner speaker will be former New England Patriot Matt Light, and the Saturday banquet will feature energetic live entertainment by the dueling pianos of Howl2GO.

Jim Braude and Margery Eagan of WGBH’s “Boston Public Radio,” widely considered one of the most important public affairs programs in Massachusetts, will host an interactive and engaging closing session on Saturday afternoon, with special guests former Acting Gov. Jane Swift and former Public Safety Secretary Andrea Cabral.

The Trade Show will once again feature exhibitors offerings products and service that are vital to local government operations. The Trade Show will be open on Friday, Jan. 18, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The MMA Annual Meeting is the largest regular gathering of municipal officials in the state, and more than 1,200 local leaders attended the 2018 event.

This year’s theme is “Strong Communities for a Stronger Commonwealth.”

More learning sessions
Thirty-four workshops will be offered over two days covering important and timely municipal issues like recreational marijuana, safe and respectful workplaces, recycling challenges, the effects of zoning on homeownership, aging-in-place, social media, and much more.

Full descriptions of each workshop are available here. Workshop details will also be available in the Annual Meeting Program Book and the Annual Meeting & Trade Show mobile app.

In addition to more than 200 exhibitors showcasing the latest tools and services available to municipalities, the Trade Show will feature 10 Learning Lab exhibitor workshops – twice as many as this past year.

New municipal officials elected in 2018, and veteran officials who have not attended Annual Meeting in the past, are encouraged to attend a special welcoming session on Friday morning.

Jan. 9 was the deadline to lock in the advance registration rate of $180 for members and $295 for other government entities. After that deadline, all registrations will be done on-site at a rate of $230 for members and $345 for other government entities.

The MMA accepts credit cards for Annual Meeting transactions. No Annual Meeting registrations can be accepted over the phone.

Reservations must also be made for the WEMO Leadership Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 18, and the Friday and Saturday evening dinners.

MMA Partnership Program members qualify for member rates. All Partnership Program members must renew with payment by Jan. 1 in order to register for and attend the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show. Partnership Program renewals or applications will not be accepted at the Annual Meeting.

Hotel information
The Sheraton Boston Hotel, conveniently located adjacent to the Hynes, is the host hotel for 2019. The MMA negotiated a reduced room rate of $179 per night for a single or $189 per night for a double. The reduced-rate rooms are expected to sell out quickly, and reservations must be made by Dec. 21 to take advantage of the special rates.

Hotel reservations must be made directly with the hotel by visiting www.starwoodmeeting.com/Book/MMA2019 or calling 800-325-3535.

For more information on the Annual Meeting, contact Molly Zuccarini at 617-426-7272, ext. 106. For Trade Show and Partnership Program information, contact Karen LaPointe at 617-426-7272, ext. 154.