NRPA Congress focuses on innovation (with related video)
The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) Congress and Exposition takes place Oct. 16-18 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. The theme of the 2012 show is “Innovate Today, Strengthen Tomorrow.” More than 7,000 parks and recreation professionals, citizen advocates and exhibitors are expected to attend this year’s Congress.
Participants can choose from more than 200 educational sessions through 11 parks and recreation education tracks. Most of the tracks have sessions available throughout the week to allow attendees to follow one track for the duration of the conference.
Training topics will cover everything from innovative management practices to how to navigate politics in local government, and how to create programs and services that serve a diverse population.
Parks and recreation educational tracks include:
Leadership and management
Planning, design and maintenance
The expo will feature offerings from more than 300 industry suppliers in the convention center’s 100,000 square feet of space. Attendees can see demonstrations, interact with vendors and ask questions as the expo portion of the event provides an up-close, hands-on experience.
Park and Recreation Exposition
Location: Anaheim Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A and B
Exhibit Hall Hours:
Tuesday, Oct. 16 – 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 17 – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NRPA Pre-Conference Workshops also are available. Half- and full-day workshops cover topics such as finance, customer service and marketing. Registration is required.
Attendees also can register for off-site institutes (OSIs). The sessions focus on first-hand practical applications of park and management practices in local settings and environments.
The off-site institutes will be conducted on Sunday, Oct. 14, Monday, Oct. 15, and Thursday, Oct. 18. This year’s OSIs range in topics from geocaching to a journey through Orange County history to learning more about sustainable design and preserving nature habitats as done at the San Joaquin Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary.
Each year, parks and recreation professionals reconnect with their peers at the NRPA Congress. Opportunities for networking and connecting with thought leaders in the industry are made possible at events scheduled during the week.
This year’s kick-off event, the opening reception, is designed to make everyone happy. It will be held at the “happiest place on Earth” — Disneyland — on Tuesday, Oct. 16, from 6-10 p.m. Following two hours of exploring the park and riding the rides, attendees can mingle and reconnect at a two-hour private reception.
Additional opportunities to connect and interact include the Best of the Best Ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 17. This is an opportunity to recognize inspirational people and programs in the field, including the 2012 Network and National awards recipients, newly accredited and re-accredited park and recreation agencies and academic programs, and the 2012 Young Professional Fellows and Diversity Scholarship recipients. The ceremony takes place at the Anaheim Marriott, Platinum Ballroom. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m.
Opening General Session
Location: Anaheim Convention Center Arena
Tuesday, Oct. 16
The 2012 Congress and Exposition opening general session promises to excite and inspire. Lowell Catlett, an economist and the dean of the College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at New Mexico State University, will deliver the 2012 Congress keynote address.
A few of the education sessions include:
Tuesday – 1-2:15 p.m.
”Are ‘Shared Services’ the New Normal?”
Speaker: Doug Long
“Grassroots Marketing in a Virtual World”
Speaker: Nancy Kaiser
“Homeless Angels: New Approaches to End Homelessness”
Speakers: Sara Lamnin
Tuesday – 2:45-4 p.m.
“Cultural Awareness Tool Kit: Customer Service Tips for Multicultural Communities”
Speaker: Sylvia Allen
“Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance”
Speaker: Jamie Sabbach
“Urban Sustainability: Promoting Environmental Stewardship Through Leave No Trace”
Speakers: Eddie Hill and Ron Ramsing
Wednesday – 9-10:15 a.m.
“Customer Service in a Digital Age: Help!”
Speaker: Ryan Hegreness
“How to Negotiate and Write Smart Contracts for Parks and Recreation”
Speakers: Meaghan Ellsworth and Paul Kuglitsch
Wednesday – 3-4:15 p.m.
“30 Great Volunteer Recruiting Ideas”
Speaker: Pete MacPhail
“Improving Your Communication Skills”
Speaker: Molly Hetrick
“Local Communities are the Launching Point for Olympics and Paralympics”
Speaker: John Register
Thursday – 8-9:15 a.m.
“Performance Management: Getting From Outputs to Outcomes”
Speaker: Peter Finn
“Show Me the Proof! Effective Partnerships for Reducing Juvenile Crime”
Speaker: Michelle Park
“Using Social Media to Build Community and Engage Citizens”
Speakers: Eric Legg and Callie Spencer
Thursday – 12:30-1:45 p.m.
“Healthy Worksites, Happy Employees”
Speakers: Pamela Passow and Kristie Sanders
“Women Gone Wild: Creating Empowering Outdoor Recreation Programs for Women”
Speakers: Dena Justice and Lauren Shrum
For more information, visit this site.
Here is a 2012 NRPA Congress video preview.