Parks and recreation conferences are an important time of year for serious parks and recreation professionals. These conferences bring together professionals from all over North America, providing an excellent opportunity for networking, learning, and innovation.
Educational sessions are valuable experiences for attendees, allowing them to implement new tips and tricks at their respective agencies. A host of products and service providers are always in attendance, to help professionals get all the tools they need to help boost their communities’ well being. Here are some of our top picks for US parks and recreation conferences happening in 2018.
IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights | January 18-20
Held at the Hilton Chicago, IAPD/IPRA’s annual conference is the first one of the year. Over 4,200 professionals and elected officials will be in attendance, while featuring over 150 educational sessions and workshops, and 300 exhibitors showcasing their newest products and services. The keynote speaker for 2018 is Eddie Slowikowski, who will be teaching conference attendees how to embrace failure, so that you can create the best version of yourself. Don’t miss the welcome social on the first evening, giving you ample opportunity to meet other professionals and managers.
mParks Conference & Trade Show | February 6-9
The Michigan Recreation and Park Association has a heavy focus on education, with workshops focused on professional development and diversity. Held at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, MI, the mParks conference is a must for any Michigan-based parks and recreation professional. We love their LeadHERship Workshop that aims to empower women in recreation and public service. Have your say, by participating in their survey that will help mParks create the best conference experience they can provide.
CPRS Conference & Expo | March 13-16
It will be a momentous year for the California Parks and Recreation Society, as they will be celebrating their 70th anniversary. In 2018, the Long Beach Convention Center will play host to the festivities. “RISE UP” is their theme for the year, which represents how their experience Rewards personal growth and creativity, Inspires innovation, Supports connectivity, and Encourages discovery, while Unifying the Profession. With a golf tournament on the opening day and an award ceremony on the final day, you should expect an exciting and rewarding experience.
WRPA Annual Conference and Trade Show | May 2-3
The Washington Recreation and Parks Association’s annual conference is being hosted at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center. Their theme for 2018 is “Forging Links," during which they will focus on connecting people, cultivating ideas, and creating excitement. In the past, they have hosted over 400 professionals and their speakers typically address departmental focuses, program building, community events, law and ethics, management, and leadership.
NRPA Annual Conference | September 25-27
The annual conference held by National Recreation and Parks Association is the biggest conference in North America and it’s one of the most anticipated parks and rec events of the year. Many parks and recreation professionals will travel from far and wide to attend, as the NRPA attracts many great educators and producers, to showcase the latest and greatest in industry innovation. While limited info is currently available, we do know the venue will be the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. The NRPA is also harnessing the power of technology—they’ve developed a great app that acts as your guide to the entire conference.
Some of the conferences mentioned are still looking for speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors. Make sure you apply soon if your organization is interested. If you happen to see our PerfectMind team in attendance, be sure to say hello and learn more about how PerfectMind is growing parks and recreation organizations across North America.