The Sports Turf Managers Association's 24rd Annual Conference and Exhibition was held January 15-18 in Daytona Beach, FL and featured a number of milestones for the association, including a significant increase in the number of educational sessions offered as well as the wider implementation of new Web-based offerings and a nearly sold-out trade show.
2013 STMA Conference maintains strong attendance numbers, growth in trade show
The Sports Turf Managers Association’s 24rd Annual Conference and Exhibition was held January 15-18 in Daytona Beach, FL and featured a number of milestones for the association, including a significant increase in the number of educational sessions offered as well as the wider implementation of new Web-based offerings and a nearly sold-out trade show. Approximately 981 sports turf managers – from high schools and parks districts to Major League Baseball and NFL groundskeepers – converged on the Ocean Center Convention facility for more than 90 hours of sports turf specific education, dedicated networking functions and exhibitor demonstrations. Of particular note was keynote general session speaker Ian Hill, who called attendees to action with his own moving life story and generous personal contribution of $1000 to the association’s charitable foundation, SAFE. The conference trade show was one of the most well-attended in the association’s history, with virtually every floor location sold for a total of 168 exhibitors and 1,600 attendees.
“The attendance level at this year’s STMA conference – both for the increasing number of educational sessions offered and our popular trade show – underscores the continuing strength of the association and the sports turf industry in general,” said Kimberly Heck, Chief Executive Officer, SMTA. “We were looking forward to unveiling many new outreach tools to our attendees in Daytona Beach and are gratified that so many of them found the experience to be an enjoyable one. We look forward to welcoming them back by building on our successes for next year in San Antonio.”
STMA increased the number of educational opportunities for conference attendees through the addition of several new tracks; this addition raised the total number of tracks to 11, up from nine in 2012, and included an increase in the number of sessions offered and speakers featured. As with all of STMA’s annual national conferences, CEUs were awarded by a select group of leading industry associations including NRPA, NIAAA, ASBA, PLANET, GCSAA, IA, ASLA, and FNGLA. The Annual Meeting lunch, held at the convention center, saw newly-elected Board of Directors members taking office, as well as a review of STMA’s operational business for the past year and a look into its future strategic initiatives.
The week’s events were capped off by STMA’s Annual Awards Banquet on Friday evening, where the association’s highest honors were presented. These included the association’s premier honors, the STMA Founders Awards, as well as the Field of the Year Awards, SAFE Scholarships, STMA Commercial Innovative Award, President’s Award for Leadership, Student Challenge trophies and more.
Additionally, STMA’s non-profit charitable foundation, Foundation for Safer Athletic Fields for Everyone (SAFE) used its 13th Annual Golf Tournament, played at Arthur Hills Golf Course at LPGA International, Casino Night at the Welcome Reception and the live auctions, raffles and other fundraising endeavors to raise more than $35,000 for the foundation.
For those unable to attend the conference, STMA is currently offering the opportunity to view four education sessions online in addition to a wide selection of educational session handouts. The recorded sessions can be found on this page of STMA’s website and include:
§ “Making Plant Growth Regulators Work for You” – Thomas Serensits
§ “The Reality of LEED Certified Landscape and Site Management” – Larry DiVito
§ “3 Keys to Providing High Quality, High Traffic Athletic Fields” – Jerad Minnick
§ “Back To Basics: Getting the Most from Your Granular Fertilizers” – Brad Jakubowski and Dr. Tom Samples
Registration to view the webinars is $10 for each of the morning sessions and $20 for the three hour afternoon sessions.
STMA is the not-for-profit, professional association for the men and women who manage sports fields worldwide. Since 1981, the association and its 33 local chapters have been providing education, information and sharing practical knowledge in the art and science of sports field management. Its more than 2,600 members oversee sports fields and facilities at schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities, and professional sports stadiums. For more information, log on to www.stma.org.