NRPA ReceptionWith more than 7,000 professionals in attendance, the NRPA Annual Conference is the best event to meet new people, reconnect with colleagues and learn from the best in the business. This year, there are so many great opportunities to network and unwind with your colleagues.


Event Details

Sunday, September 24

Parks Build Community: Lafitte Greenway Dedication
2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Each year, NRPA conducts a complete park makeover in partnership with park equipment manufacturers and community organizations within the city hosting the NRPA Annual Conference. The 2017 Parks Build Community project in New Orleans will feature another lot-to-park transformation by reimagining Lafitte Greenway, a designated parkway in the Crescent City that will connect underserved communities to sports fields, playgrounds, water features and numerous family gathering spots.


Monday, September 25

Golf Tournament presented by the New Orleans Local Host Committee
7:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Bayou Oaks at City Park - South Course | Entry fee: $125
Includes: Transportation, green fees, cart, light breakfast, on-course beverages, lunch, awards and prizes.

NRPA Student Recreation Challenge (sponsored by Jacobsen and Cushman)
2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
The NRPA Student Recreation Challenge 2.0 is an opportunity for students to compete in a series of challenges throughout the city of New Orleans. Teams of three will travel to multiple destinations and will be challenged both physically and mentally along the way.  Click here to learn more


Tuesday, September 26

NRPA Opening General Session featuring Matt Iseman
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. | Great Hall
To say Dr. Matt is a jack of many trades is a slight understatement. He's the host of American Ninja Warrior, the new Celebrity Apprentice, a physician, comedian, actor and former Princeton baseball pitcher. To add to that list, he is also this year's NRPA Annual Conference keynote speaker. Join us for Dr. Matt's inspiring keynote presentation that is guaranteed to remind you of the important role parks and recreation plays in shaping the lives of all people, of all ethnicities, ages and abilities.

Exhibit Hall Happy Hour
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. | Exhibit Hall
Stick around the Exhibit Hall for a fun-filled hour of socializing, testing new products, and enjoying food and beverages. Tickets are included with conference registration.

NRPA Opening Reception at Mardi Gras World (sponsored by GameTime)
6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. | Mardi Gras World
The parade gets started on Tuesday night at the conference. Join thousands of your peers for the most exciting event of the conference at Mardi Gras World. Tickets are included with Full Package, Young Professional and Guest registration. 


Wednesday, September 27

Wednesday Keynote - Conversations That Matter: Because Everyone Deserves a Park
8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. | Great Hall | Speaker: Jessica Pettitt
Humor is a great equalizer and is often the quickest way to diffuse conflict and move toward real connection. With a background in stand up comedy, Jessica Pettitt, frames even difficult subjects in an engaging and welcoming way. You will be inspired to stand up and take action as Jessica Pettitt leads you down the path to understanding you are good enough to make the changes you seek. Challenging long held assumptions about the type of people who drive change and are successful, Jessica eradicates excuses and provides strategies to communicate openly and actively seek success.

NRPA Research Poster Sessions
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Exhibit Hall booth #3156
Please join us for an opportunity for students, professors and professionals to get together and discuss areas of mutual interest in order to support each other’s efforts in providing exceptional service to our constituencies.

Best of the Best Awards Ceremony (sponsored by Vortex)
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. | Hilton Riverside, Grand Ballroom A-B
This annual ceremony recognizes the inspirational people and programs that remind us daily of the phenomenal work being done in the field. This includes the 2017 National Award recipients, newly accredited and re-accredited park and recreation agencies and academic programs, the 2017 Young Professional Fellows, Diversity and Student Scholarship recipients, the Park Champion of the year, and professionals who have recently achieved their CPRP or CPRE designations. Light reception to follow.


Thursday, September 28

5k Fun Run/Walk (Presented by New Orleans Local Host Committee)
7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. | Audubon Park
What is parks and recreation without a little exercise? Join hundreds of your peers for a 5K run or walk before the last day of education sessions. (Includes: Race bib, post-race refreshments and T-shirt.)


View the Full Schedule