Because of continued uncertainties caused by the unresolved coronavirus pandemic, AIPAC announced on Monday that it was canceling its in-person annual policy conference for the second year in a row.
Comparing prepping for the conference to building a city for 18,000 attendees, AIPAC President Betsy Berns Korn wrote that “we are now at the stage of planning that requires us to make … financial commitments … including irrevocable contracts with the convention center, hotels, catering and many other vendors who help bring the conference to life.
“After considerable review, we feel strongly that signing contracts at a time of such continued uncertainty about the safety of the conference and our delegates would be an irresponsible use of the resources you entrust us to use wisely.”
Korn said AIPAC would continue to advance its mission as it has over the past year, and would find creative ways to engage with members of Congress, their staff and AIPAC supporters.
“We will be introducing new opportunities to build our movement and engage personally with each other. And we plan to host in-person programs when we determine that it is safe to do so,” she wrote. “Together, with your continued support, we will devote ourselves to achieving the same outcomes that the conference typically generates.”
The policy conference, scheduled to take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in March, was also canceled in 2021 and supplanted by a virtual conference.
The organization’s last in-person policy conference occurred in 2020, after which multiple attendees tested positive for COVID-19.