Is Walk to Washington coming back? It’s complicated

The Walk to Washington train trip. (File photo)

After the second edition of the ReNew Jersey Business Summit & Expo was deemed a success by nearly all who attended, there can only be one logical question: Is the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce going to do it again?

The deeper question: Is the state chamber going to continue this event — which was intended to be a temporary substitute for the Walk to Washington?

Tom Bracken, the CEO of the chamber, said everything is still being considered.

“We don’t want to lose the momentum of this event, which clearly has gained momentum, but we also want to find a way to bring back the Walk, which is the biggest business event in the history of New Jersey — one that everyone keeps telling me they want back,” he said. “We have to find a way to balance that.”

Let’s start with this: Both events require an enormous amount of time to plan (starting as soon as today). The Walk to Washington would need to find a new hotel because the previous location has closed (already being undertaken).

Which leads to the obvious question: Would the chamber be able to pull off both events, perhaps one in the spring and the other in the fall?

“How do we balance that?” Bracken asked. “I’m not sure yet. But, if there’s a way to do it, we’ll find a way to do it.”

Bracken said he doesn’t want to lose the momentum of this event, which drew approximately 900 people. But he also understands one reason why this event has done so well: It’s new.

“If you keep doing this year after year after year, it can get stale,” he said. “You always need to refresh, or scale back, or skip a year.”

Those decisions, which need to be made soon, are under discussion, Bracken said.

“There are a lot of options,” he said. “Both events are extremely important; both have been extremely successful. We have to find the best combination to make sure we have the greatest impact.”