The Wedding Metaphor Continues with Event Design

It starts with a vision - how you want the event to look, feel and pan out. For the Outdoor Professional Conference, this means starting with the educational content. There are many factors to consider before we even send out our call for proposals - how much space we have, how long we want each session to be, how much time we want in between sessions, how many sessions we want to have, and determining trending issues within the industry that attendees need to know about. 

Once we have a basic plan in place, it’s time to start finding the right content.  The first step is to open our call for proposals, promote it far and wide and secure volunteers to do reviews of submitted presentations. After the call for proposals closes, the process of blind reviews begins.  Each presentation is reviewed by a minimum of two volunteers (all done so that the reviewer doesn’t know who’s presentation they are looking at and are rating them based solely on the quality of the topic and content). 

From there, AORE determines what sessions to approve or decline - based on the score from all the reviewers. Additionally, during this entire process we are looking at what sessions need to be curated by the national office - these are typically the sessions that bring the national trends and other industry topics to the conference (for example in 2023 we had the Future of Facilitated Recreation series). 

This entire process starts in early Spring each year and continues throughout the conference - some presenters cancel at the last minute and staff does our best to pivot the best we can at the moment. 

With all this being said, it’s the most rewarding part of the planning process - the Outdoor Professional Conference is meant for education and professional development for attendees.  After months of planning, seeing it all come together and knowing attendees are engaging with quality content and thought leaders is ultimately why we host this event. 

Do you want to ensure we have a variety of quality education seminars at the OPC? Sign up to review submitted presentations

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