The Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) will host its 26th annual Conference & Exhibition Jan. 13-16, 2015, in Denver.
Nearly 1,200 leaders in the sports turf industry will converge at the Colorado Convention Center for more than 75 hours of leading-edge educational seminars, exhibitor demonstrations and networking opportunities.
The five-day event features seminars, lectures, general sessions and exhibits from sports turf and environmental science leaders in nine conference tracts: agronomic, construction/renovation, facility management, industry developments, pest control, professional development, sustainability, synthetic and irrigation. The event begins with pre-conference sessions on Jan. 13 with the STMA Academy, a high-level educational series. The conference officially begins on Jan. 14 with introductory remarks by STMA President David Pinsonneault (CSFM, CPRP).
Jan. 15 will feature a keynote address by Karl Mecklenburg, former Denver Broncos captain and All-Pro linebacker. He will provide “Six Keys to Success” about life lessons the NFL taught him about teamwork, courage, dedication, desire and goal-setting. During his prolific career, Mecklenburg appeared in six Pro Bowls and three Super Bowls.
New to the conference is the International Lounge on the trade show floor, a networking area for sports turf managers from around the world.
Also, the SAFE Foundation – STMA’s charitable arm enriching communities through championing safe, sustainable sports and recreation fields – will host a “Night of Bowling” on Jan. 13 instead of the annual golf outing. Also, the SAFE Foundation sponsors the Student Challenge, a competition between teams of students in turfgrass programs with two groups taking home $4,000 each.
“Our Conference & Exhibition continues to gain popularity each year with more 1,200 attendees and 164 exhibitors from eight countries at last year’s event,” says Kim Heck, STMA’s chief executive officer. “We are excited to descend upon Denver in January with another stellar lineup of sport turf presentations from pioneers who are leading our industry into the next generation.”
The always popular “Welcome Reception & Casino Night” and “Reception, Live Auction and Awards Banquet” will be held on Jan. 14 and Jan. 16 evenings, respectively.
Nearly 60 educational sessions and panel discussions will feature sports turf managers along with academic and commercial representatives from schools, colleges and universities, parks and recreational facilities, and professional sports stadiums.
Optional events include a full and half-day “Seminar on Wheels Tour” with plans to visit Folsom Field at the University of Colorado, Infinity Park in Glendale, Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park and Coors Field. Conference attendees can also take advantage of Certified Sports Field Manager and American Sports Builder Association testing.
Registration for the conference opened Oct. 1. With a new membership, registrants will receive free conference registration, according to the STMA. Book before Dec. 15 to take advantage of early bird rates.
Photo: Seth Jones