by Matthew Kemeny
Our user conference, INTERSECT23, is less than a year away and we’re headed back to Annapolis, a city rich in American history and boasting breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay, brick-lined streets, and stunning 18th century architecture.
We continue to host this event at locations we believe our attendees will love and next year’s conference in Maryland’s capital city is no exception. Guests can enjoy cruising the Chesapeake Bay, touring the U.S. Naval Academy, visiting the National Cryptologic Museum, dining al fresco under the stars, and much more.
INTERSECT23, scheduled September 25-28, brings together RouteSmart clients, partners, and employees from all over the globe for four days of learning, collaborating, and entertainment.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Susan Siegfried, Vice President, Public Relations & Communications, Visit Annapolis & Anne Arundel County, as part of Season 2; Episode 6 of Right on Time with RouteSmart podcast, to learn more about America’s Sailing Capital and opportunities for excursions for our INTERSECT attendees.
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR SUSAN SIEGFRIED
MK: What makes Annapolis special?
SS: Annapolis is a wonderful, centuries-old city that is alive, vibrant, and appealing to a 21st century audience. In addition to being Maryland’s capital city, we are the gateway to North America’s largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay. When people visit Annapolis, we encourage them to get on the water, whether they choose to do that by taking a two-hour sailing cruise on the Woodwind Schooner (featured in the movie Wedding Crashers) or a two-hour cruise on the historic Skipjack Wilma Lee, based out of the Annapolis Maritime Museum. If they only have time for 40 minutes on the water, they can take the Harbor Queen Cruise and pass the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
MK: What do you like to do in Annapolis on your days off?
SS: There’s just so much to do in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. There are many festivals and events that take place in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County throughout the year. In September, we have Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival at City Dock. (Also, in September), we have the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park in Anne Arundel County. Depending what’s going on, I’ll typically check out an event or a festival, such as the Maryland Renaissance Festival, which takes place in Crownsville from the last weekend in August to the third weekend in October. We also just had our inaugural Annapolis Songwriters Festival in September.
MK: Are you telling us we can create a RouteSmart song and present it at the songwriter’s festival?
SS: Absolutely. Visit Annapolis was a major sponsor, but what we did in conjunction with the festival is we launched a songwriter’s competition. So, your attendees may be so smitten with what they see and enjoy in Annapolis, they can put pen to paper and write a song to submit it for the competition. There could be a songwriter amidst your attendees, and they don’t even know it yet!
MK: The National Cryptologic Museum, based in Annapolis Junction, recently opened after being closed about two and a half years. Can you tell us about that experience?
SS: They are the public face of the National Security Agency, so they can’t tell you what they’re doing right now (laughs), but the museum can tell you what they’ve done throughout centuries. It’s a really great place to visit and people from all over the world go and enjoy what it has to offer. They really bring it to life. The curator there is phenomenal. Your attendees would know a lot. They’d have a great conversation with the people at the National Cryptologic Museum. One of the things (the museum) is most excited about is that they’re going to be displaying things that have never before been seen by the public.
MK: When people think of Annapolis, they often think about the U.S. Naval Academy, that’s based there. Can you talk more about its presence in the community?
SS: They’re just part of our family. You see midshipmen walking around town in their uniforms and at our restaurants, at our attractions, on our brick-lined streets. The Naval Academy is walkable from the City Dock. One of the fun things your attendees may want to do on a weekday is go to a noon formation at the Academy. That’s when all the 4,000-plus midshipmen line up and they have a color guard and the band playing – it’s really just a thrill. It’s something that makes you proud to be an American.
Click here to listen to the entire podcast.
For more information on all the exciting things to do and places to eat in Annapolis, visit www.visitannapolis.org. The Graduate Annapolis hotel will host INTERSECT23 and we expect registration information to be posted at www.routesmart.com in January.