2023 ACCT Conference Recap


Nearly 800 aerial adventure operators, builders, experts, and vendors came together at the 33rd annual Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) International Conference and Expo in Portland, Ore., Feb. 9-12, 2023.

Well-attended education sessions included Incident Trends & Benchmarking, Management of Tree Supported Structures, and the Open Discussion for Owners and Operators, with several sessions—like Zip Line Brake Systems and Landings—reaching capacity.






A number of trends and challenges emerged from the dozens of sessions held across the four-day show. Among them were continued concerns about staffing, wages, and workforce housing. With staffing challenges also came questions about how to optimize (and standardize) training and reduce incidents for both employees and guests.

Operator error remained the most commonly alleged cause in incident claims, according to the annual incident data report from Cameron Annas at Granite Insurance. Average claim payouts continue to rise rapidly as well, thanks to social inflation (juries awarding larger payouts) and real inflation. (We’ll take a closer look at the 2022 incident data in the spring issue of API.)

The general air at the conference was one of celebration and optimism, though. Participation in the ACCT Olympics was enthusiastic. ACCT members also came together to form a new house band—the Rope Wranglers.

Brenda Reed, director of training for Ropes Works Inc., was recognized with ACCT’s highest honor, the Critical Link award. Additionally, three new members were voted onto the ACCT board of directors: Kennerly De Forest of Experiential Resources, LLC; Michael R. Smith, principal of AdventureSmith, Inc.; and Leslie Sohl, a technical specialist for the State of Colorado.

The location of the 2024 conference was announced at the show: Oklahoma City, OK at the Omni Oklahoma City taking place from Feb. 22, 2024 – Feb. 25, 2024.


About Author

Katie Brinton is a PSIA-E Development Team member and a staff trainer at Okemo Mountain Resort, Vt., where she grew up. She was named to the 2017 “10 Under 30” class for Adventure Park Insider's sister publication SAM (Ski Area Management). She is a freelance writer, and has written frequently for Adventure Park Insider and sister publication, SAM. Katie is currently a Master’s student at Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English.

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