I know November is the month of Thanksgiving, but let's take a second to be thankful for all the wonderful things about October. Pumpkins, harvest festivals, hayrides and trick-or-treating. The riot of leaves changing colors then crunching under foot. Birds migrating. Owls hooting. School's in full swing. Football's on, whether you love college, pro, high school or all of the above. And the NRPA Congress and Exposition is right around the corner.
I recently told someone that if I had to cancel all of my travel plans for the entire season of conferences and trade shows, I would hold out for the NRPA Congress and Exposition. Why? Well, from the educational offerings to the amazing trade show floor, this show tends to cover most of my bases, in terms of staying on top of trends. I can still remember the first one I attended, in Seattle, shortly after I had taken the editorial reins here at Recreation Management. That first day, walking into the Exhibit Hall, seeing all the playground manufacturers' latest and greatest, the shade structures and shelters, skateboarders wheeling on ramps—it was so exciting!
And that was just the beginning. That year's sessions were my first introduction to the trends and practices that stand as a foundation for parks and recreational facilities across the country. Every second of it was eye-opening for me, as I realized how much I had taken for granted every time I went for a swim at the pool, a workout at the rec center or a picnic in the park.
This year's conference and trade show will take place in Anaheim, Calif. It'll be my seventh time attending. And I have to tell you, the luster hasn't worn off.
There will be more than 200 educational opportunities to help you dig deeper and get a little better at what you do. Tracks will cover everything from advocacy and employee management to environmental stewardship and healthy lifestyles, from planning, design and maintenance to marketing and programming and so much more.
More than 300 suppliers will be showing off their latest and greatest on the Exhibit Hall floor—always a spectacular show. We'll be there too, in Booth #1944. Stop by and say hello!
And, of course, NRPA Congress is just one of many spectacular events that offer a chance to learn a little bit more about the industry and find out more about the latest trends in the products and services that make your facilities stand out. From the beginning of the year to the end, there's a whole host of fabulous events offering you the chance to learn and network and grow as a professional. Check out our online calendar to find out what else is happening in 2012, and stay tuned to find out what's coming in 2013.
Hope to see you soon!