The National Aquarium and the Maryland Zoo are preparing to welcome aquarium and zoo professionals from around the world at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) 2022 Annual Conference. The weeklong conference will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center from August 27 through September 1 following a two-year hiatus from in-person meetings.
The AZA 2022 Annual Conference will assemble more than 2,000 industry thought leaders to engage in meetings, panel discussions and seminars across a variety of disciplines with peers from throughout the country. Opening remarks will be given by Maryland Zoo CEO Kirby Fowler, National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli and Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott.
"We are thrilled to welcome the Association of Zoos and Aquariums back to Baltimore," said Visit Baltimore President and CEO, Al Hutchinson. "The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and the National Aquarium are cultural stewards in the Baltimore region dedicated to supporting education, research, wildlife conservation, and of course, meaningful experiences that every member of the family can enjoy. The AZA convention is set to bring in more than 2,000 passionate professionals to Baltimore with an estimated economic impact of $3.5 million. We look forward to working with our local zoo and aquarium colleagues to host their industry peers for a productive week of educational experiences."
Conference attendees will also participate in several local social events. The National Aquarium will hold a zero-waste Icebreaker event, presented by SSA Group, to kick off the week's activities. Additional sponsorship support will be provided by Cap Ex Advisory Group, Event Network, Magic Memories, Schultz & Williams, SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment and WTW. Attendees will enjoy access to the Aquarium's award-winning habitats featuring hundreds of animal species from all over the world. The Maryland Zoo will close out the week's activities with a Zoo Day for conference attendees, providing access to critically acclaimed habitats, craft cocktails, live entertainment and more. Zoo Day is also presented by SSA Group, with additional sponsorship support from Chance Rides, Ellin & Tucker, Gecko Group, JRA, Orrstown, SimEx-Iwerks, Stifel and WTW. AZA, Maryland Zoo and National Aquarium are deeply grateful for the generous support of all conference sponsors and other partners.
"The entire National Aquarium team is proud to welcome our colleagues from throughout the Americas to Baltimore, to enjoy the charm and diversity of this great city," said National Aquarium CEO John Racanelli. "As the jewel of the Inner Harbor and home to aquatic treasures from the world over, the Aquarium is the perfect starting point for a week of professional connection and learning, emphasizing the urgent work of conserving wild places, saving species and combatting climate change."
"With renowned facilities in Baltimore and field work sites around the globe, the Maryland Zoo and National Aquarium are to animal welfare and conservation what Johns Hopkins and Shock Trauma are to human health care," said Maryland Zoo President & CEO, Kirby Fowler. "Co-hosting this prestigious conference is an extraordinary opportunity to engage peers from across the country and highlight what makes us unique."