It’s that time of year again when professionals and organizations gather for Parks and Recreation Ontario’s annual educational forum and trade show. The 2016 edition will be held in picturesque Collingwood, Ontario at the Blue Mountain Conference Centre.
This event is slated to once again be the province’s premier event, bringing together park, recreation, culture, community development, health promotion, education and community agency professionals, elected officials, volunteers and students.
The PRO Forum is a great mix of trade show booths and educational speakers, programs and sessions to further the professional development of all those in attendance.
The trade show focuses on bringing innovative products and services to the attention of over 600 industry professionals. Vendors range from sporting equipment and infrastructure businesses, such as ours, as well as school-focused and workplace safety products, e-learning technologies and aquatic products, to name a few.
Keynote speakers Jeff Tobe, customer experience expert and Stephen Carter, founder/CEO of QED marketing are only the beginning of the educational opportunities found at this year’s show. The 4-day forum kicks off with the Parks and Recreation Annual General Meeting, updating members and delegates about the activities, projects and public affairs across the province. The Annual General Meeting is also the time when PRO Member Awards and HIGH FIVE Trainer Awards are presented.
The remainder of the educational forum features a wide variety of informative presentations running throughout the day Wednesday, April 6th and Thursday, April 7th, followed by the Delegates Breakfast, final keynote address and closing remarks scheduled for the morning of Friday, April 8th.
Key Sessions for those in the Athletic Industry
With the forum’s broad reach, there are a variety of educational sessions being held, with a few speaking directly to those of us residing within the athletic industry, but with a community and recreational focus.
Sport Tourism: Make it Much More Than Just a Game
This session will give attendees a unique opportunity to learn how to effectively determine the economic and community impact sport programs can have on their community. This session is presented by Joseph Lovell who is the Associate Professor and Chair of the Recreation Administration Department of Lindenwood University located in St. Charles, Missouri.
Outdoor Sports Field Management Policy
The City of Mississauga introduced its first Outdoor Sports Field Management policy in the fall of 2015, ensuring fair, transparent and equitable allocation of outdoor sports field resources. This presentation highlights the policy’s extensive benefits. For example, field entitlements for soccer, cricket and baseball now align with Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) standards – a first, according to Canadian Sport for Life (CS4L). Discover how the policy was developed and how it is used to ensure equity while addressing capital contributions from local sport groups. In addition, how it meets the needs of the community while cost effectively maximizing field usage, preservation and performance will also be discussed.