What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas

By Melissa May | Posted on October 14, 2015

After the exhibit hall doors are shut, the final session ends, and the convention center halls are empty, it’s time to reflect on the successes and10.14.15_Attendee_Survey_Infographic_5 challenges of the event. More than 1,200 people evaluated, ranked and commented on their experience in an online survey. Not only will we use this feedback to continue to improve this annual event, we also want to share it so you can see the results. Here are some of the highlights.

Satisfied Attendees

10.14.15_Attendee_Survey_Infographic_1Nearly 7,200 park and recreation professionals from across the country and world came to Las Vegas for this three day event. From agency directors to students, small towns to large cities, buyers to vendors, all facets of the parks and recreation field came together in Las Vegas. Overall, the conference was a big success with more than four out of five attendees satisfied with their conference experience.  


The Big Three 10.14.15_Attendee_Survey_Infographic_4

While there can be many reasons for attending the conference, the biggest reasons in 2015 were: to earn CEUs/attend education sessions (65 percent), networking (65 percent) and to see new products/specific companies (39 percent). Attendees reported that the conference met/exceeded their expectations in all three of these areas.  

“Great number of park related topics. Good place to network with people of the same profession.”

“This was a great educational opportunity to learn what others in our field are accomplishing across the country! Great speakers and relevant topics!“

“The NRPA Annual Conference is a compact way to get the latest information about our field, while attending CEU sessions, networking with colleagues and visiting exhibitors!”

10.14.15_Attendee_Survey_Infographic_3What You Liked Most

From The Water Coolers to Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy and keynote speaker Gil Penalosa, the Opening General Session was extremely well received. Many people commented on this event:

“Gil was incredible, dynamic and energizing.”

“HOLY SMOKES! I had goose bumps it was so good! Good length and very inspirational. “

“I loved it. I thought it was the perfect length and set a wonderful tone for us. The speakers were EXCELLENT and I really liked the #NRPA50 hashtag and social media efforts.”

We Heard You  

While nine in ten conference attendees highly rated their experience at the conference, we understand not everything can always go as planned and improvements can be made. The three commonly mentioned areas of improvement include: Reducing walking distance from hotel rooms to the convention center, improving food at events and increasing popular-session room sizes. We appreciate your feedback and will continue to strive to meet the expectations of conference attendees.

Meet Us in St. Louis

As we look ahead to the future, we endeavor to bring our members topics that enrich, enlighten and strengthen their programs and agencies. Thank you to all those who came to the 2015 NRPA Annual Conference and celebrated NRPA’s 50th Anniversary. We look forward to seeing you all next October in St. Louis, Missouri!

“Attending the NRPA Annual Conference always rejuvenates me and gets me excited about my profession.”


What were your favorite parts of the 2015 NRPA Annual Conference? Did you have any key takeaways? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @NRPA_news!


Melissa May is NRPA's Research Specialist.