The 2023 ATA Turf Conference was held on January 26th-27th at the Hot Springs Convention Center. This location has proven to be a great place for members from across the state to gather to enjoy education, networking and recognizing leaders in our industry. We had approximately 210 attendees for Thursday’s session and 130 on Friday.
ATA leadership yet again put together a first-class event to support members and grow the industry through education and innovation. Be sure you plan to join us next year!
Benton Parks and Recreation Staff received the Field of the Year Award for CW Lewis.
Over the two-day conference, attendees heard from 13 speakers, and the Trade Show was a great success with 35 vendors.
Here is ATA Vice President Josh Landreth’s review of the event:
Huge shout out to our sponsors, our vendors, our speakers, and so many that contributed to the success of the conference. It was great to see so many of you there, smiling, engaged, and full of energy. Attendance was up about 40%, our trade show nearly doubled, and our sponsorships more than tripled. The Friday attendance was the best it has ever been! I heard there was even a cornhole tournament that broke out at the Embassy Thursday night!
Numbers are great, but you can’t put a number on energy. The energy from the 2023 conference was just awesome. If you attended, thank you for being a part of that energy! Thank you Courtney Landreth for helping organize all of this, and we can’t wait to see how that positive momentum carries into 2024.
The ATA exists to serve the turfgrass industry. The success of the 2023 conference puts us in such a better place to do just that. We are now in position to start a scholarship fund. Thanks to the great education schedule that Daniel O’Brien put together, we believe that our future conferences are going to be destinations that speakers look forward to. That will help us build even better educational programs. We have plans in the works of bringing more hands-on learning experiences as well.
Courtney and your board of directors have truly worked hard and so well together! It’s really been amazing to watch the entire board jump in to support the efforts of the ATA. Special thanks to our president–Richard Covert, also Kyle Sanders, Guy Oyler, Rodney Fisher, Mark Brown, Ricky Self, Brandon Bradley, Jay Randolph, and Daniel Baxley. There has been so much work that has gone into all of these positive changes. It did not happen by accident, and it could not have happened if not for this group.
In the movie Elf, Santa comes back on Christmas morning and announces, “Congratulations on a successful Christmas, now it’s time to start preparations for next Christmas!” That’s how we feel! We have just finished work on the 2023 conference, and we’re already planning for 2024.
Spring is here, and all of the turfgrass community is busy, busy, busy. As you go about your daily business, don’t forget about the ATA. Plan ahead for next year’s “Site of the Year Awards”. Reach out to your colleagues to see how they are doing. Continue building relationships with your vendors that want to support you and your business. Thank you for your support at this year’s conference, and we look forward to a successful 2023!READ THE ISSUE