Industry Conferences: On Point and On Track

14.05.28-STC.logoConferences are the hot topic at Sports Turf Canada this time of year. With committees meeting and program development underway for both the Ontario Turfgrass Symposium and the Atlantic Turfgrass Conference, and observing similar processes happening for both the Western Canada Turfgrass Association and Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) conferences, one might ask the question, “Are conferences still valuable in today’s economic and technologic environments?”

Some online research unearthed an interesting article by April Taylor which, while addressing more the responsibility and deliverables associations must meet for a successful conference answered our question with an emphatic “Yes.”

Consider this, where else will you hear about cutting edge research, learn about current management practices and techniques, and have the opportunity to discuss it all with researchers, industry professionals and colleagues? Where else can you celebrate your peers and their successes with the presentation of awards, elevating your profession and your industry? Where else can you meet with a selection of varied industry suppliers and talk about their products and services? Where else can you immerse yourself in all things turf? At your industry association conference and there are many to choose from.

January 19 to 22
STMA Conference & Exhibition
San Diego, CA
Information: stma.org
*Sports Turf Canada members register at STMA member rates! 

February 17 and 18
Ontario Turfgrass Symposium; Time to Grow
University of Guelph Guelph, ON
Information: turfsymposium.ca

February 23 to 25
Atlantic Turfgrass Research Foundation Conference & Tradeshow
Charlottetown, PEI
agsa.ca/atrf/about-us/ 

February 23 to 25
Western Canada Turfgrass Association Conference and Trade Show
Whistler, BC
wcta-online.com

There is little doubt that economics play a crucial role in the decision to attend an industry conference but making a case for it is possible and the STMA has developed a methodology for doing just that. It involves educating yourself on the conference and exhibition and relaying the information to your superiors, knowing the cost and making a case of efficient and effective use of your training dollars, and developing an action plan for your workplace absence and reporting upon your return.

And the impact of technology? April Taylor says it well, “Ultimately, the intimacy and personalization of meeting face-to-face, one-on-one, group-to group, and at conferences, large and small, will continue to be a bankable and dependable exercise.

 We hope to see you out at one of these sports turf industry events.

References

Taylor, April. Association Conferences: Are They Still Worthwhile. http://www.csae.com/resources/articles-tools.

How to Convince Your Employer to Send You to the STMA Conference. www.stma.org