The 2018 NRPA Annual Conference Preview

By National Recreation and Park Association | Posted on May 11, 2018

2018 Conference Teaser

8,000 attendees. More than 500 expert speakers. More than 400 exhibitors. Nearly 300 education sessions. The numbers don’t lie – The 2018 NRPA Annual Conference is kind of a big deal and it's coming to Indianapolis, Indiana this September 25-27. Whether you are a repeat NRPA Annual Conference attendee or a newbie, you probably want to know a little more about the event before (or after) you register. Here is a preview to help you plan:


Indy is the #1 Convention City

Indianapolis is USA Today’s #1 ranked Convention City in the U.S. and the perfect destination for the biggest and most exciting park and recreation event of the year for many reasons. There are dozens of top-notch, affordable hotels connected or walking distance to the convention center. This Midwestern metropolis prides itself on walkability, with more than 250 dining options, White River State Park, Monument Circle and great entertainment all located conveniently in downtown. Located in the heartland, Indy is a short flight or drive for many around the country. Did you know it’s within a day’s drive of half the U.S. population?


So Much Space for Activities!

Every year, conference attendees say one of the top reasons they attend is to network. This year there will be many opportunities, including some new, fun activities. Unwind with thousands of your colleagues at the Opening Reception at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse – home of the Indiana Pacers. Join the Indianapolis Local Host at a Tree Top Adventure Outing, Downtown Canal Paddling Trip, the Golf Tournament or the 5K Fun Run/Walk. With 8,000 professionals in attendance, the NRPA Annual Conference is the best event to meet new people or reconnect with colleagues.


Double the Keynote, Double the Inspiration

At the Opening General Session, Peter Kageyama – author of For the Love of Cities: The Love Affair Between People and Their Places and the follow up, Love Where You Live: Creating Emotionally Engaging Places – will inspire you to continue to make your communities great places to live. At the Wednesday General Session, SaulPaul – a Musician with a Message – will entertain you and remind you of the important role parks and recreation plays in shaping the lives of all people.


NRPA Annual ConferenceExpertly Planned Education

The NRPA Conference Program Committee spends hundreds of hours crafting the agenda and selecting speakers to ensure high value, quality content. They make certain the sessions cover a variety of topics and have applicable takeaways. You will have your choice of hundreds of education sessions that cover a variety of topics including leadership and management, public relations, marketing, recreation programming, revenue/customer service, aquatics and much more. You can earn CEUs to maintain your certification or reach other professional development goals when you attend most education sessions.


More Workshops, Mobile Sessions and Off-Site Experiences

Get the most out of your trip to Indianapolis by attending a workshop or summit before the conference kicks off or on the last day. Covering topics such as leadership, accreditation, certification, marketing and more, these workshops provide hands-on instruction and in-depth information. Based on popular demand, the conference will feature more mobile workshops than ever before. This is your chance to get on the move and follow the speaker on an educational journey. Sign up for an Off-Site Institute and join the Indianapolis Local Host for an inspiring tour of the unique cultural attractions, stand-out parks and more throughout Indianapolis. Don’t forget, pre-registration for these special sessions is required and they sell-out fast!


Exhibit HallThe Exhibit Hall of Your Dreams

The exhibit hall is always an awe-inspiring site. With more than 400 exhibitors, the exhibit hall is filled with the latest and greatest products and services from top brands. Test out amazing cutting-edge playground equipment, athletic gear, aquatics products and other services from some of the top brands in the exhibit hall. If you get all the squares on the Expodition Game card stamped and turned in you could also win cool prizes. 


NRPA Annual ConferenceFor Park Professionals and Beyond

The conference has traditionally been geared mostly towards park and recreation professionals, but each year we widen the focus of the education and exhibit hall offerings to meet the needs of other related professions – including landscape architecture, aquatics, fitness, city planning, property and facility management, park advocacy, environmental education, civil engineering, sustainability and more.


NRPA Annual ConferenceGet the Biggest Bang for Your Buck

There are many ways to make it to the conference in an affordable way. Save up to $240 by registering before the Early Bird deadline of August 1. NRPA Premier Member Agencies, who purchase four full package registrations, get the fifth registration for FREE! Non-members receive one year of NRPA membership with registration and many great benefits, even beyond the conference. Become a Conference Volunteer and you will receive a discounted registration, or you may be able to attend for free. If you need help convincing your boss to pay for you to attend, here are some justification tips that should help sway them in the right direction.

The 2018 NRPA Annual Conference is coming to Indianapolis September 25-27 and we hope you will be part of the experience. Come to Indianapolis. Come be inspired.

Learn more about the NRPA Annual Conference.