Tornado damage cancels CLMA meeting

A tornado that on the evening of March 14 struck downtown Atlanta, including the Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), the city's huge convention venue, garnered a diagnostics industry convention among its victims.

The Clinical Laboratory Management Association (CLMA; Wayne, Pennsylvania), which had planned to occupy a portion of the GWCC space for its March 29-April 1 ThinkLab '08 annual meeting, had to cancel when the storm left eight of the center's 12 exhibit halls unusable.

As reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "The tornado blew out windows and opened holes in the roof. Rain cascaded down steps [and] broken sprinklers and pipes soaked carpets."

Officials proposed moving the CLMA meeting to the end of May, when repairs are expected to be completed and the complex back in operation, but the association decided that rescheduling speakers, vendors and attendees was not feasible and elected not to hold a convention anywhere this year.