American Heart Association Cancels New Orleans Convention

The American Heart Association, one of the largest associations to hold its annual meeting in New Orleans, has decided to cancel its next meeting in the Crescent City, local newspaper The Times-Picayune reported last week.

According to the paper, the American Heart Association hosted its most recent meeting in New Orleans, attracting 26,000 visitors to the Big Easy and generating $50 million in economic impact. Although the association was originally supposed to return to New Orleans in 2012 with its Scientific Sessions conference, it has "decided to expand the rotation of current cities to include a broader variety of venues" for attendees, wrote Vice President of Meetings Leigh Ann Stockard in a letter to New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau President Stephen Perry.

"We were very disappointed," Perry told The Times-Picayune. "American Heart is very important because it has been one of our oldest customers and it is one of the major meetings in the country."

Although it's moving its 2012 Scientific Sessions conference to another destination, the American Heart Association said it still plans to hold its 2012 International Stroke Conference and its 2016 Scientific Sessions conference in New Orleans.

"New Orleans has been and continues to be an important destination for the American Heart Association," Stockard continued, "and we look forward to our International Stroke Conference coming to the city in 2012 and our Scientific Sessions in November 2016."