ACCT Conference and Expo 2019


Adventure Park Insider Magazine—Denver, Feb. 13, 2019—Continued growth in the number of businesses getting into the aerial adventure industry was on full display at the 2019 Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) annual conference and expo, held Feb. 7-10 in Denver. More than 1,000 people attended the event, which gathers traditional and commercial aerial adventure operators, as well as suppliers and speakers from around the world.

More than 100 different workshop sessions covered every aspect of business and operations. From teambuilding, facilitation, and gamification to finance, marketing, risk management, and more, attendees could learn-up on the latest trends and best practices.

The Adventure Park Insider team offered two of these sessions. Editor Rick Kahl led a panel on the 3rd Annual State of the Industry Report that included Paul Cummings, Strategic Adventures; Lizzie Lange, William Peace University; Lee Kerfoot, MN Zip Line Adventures; Scott Hannah, Guest Research; and Sarah Borodaeff, digital editor for Adventure Park Insider. The session discussed data from the soon-to-be-released State of the Industry Report, view the top line report here, and drew on the experience of the panel to highlight how to utilize the data to help make sound business decisions at individual operations.

Senior editor Dave Meeker walked operators through the steps of crafting a good press release and shared ideas for how to leverage relationships with the media to boost exposure. Learn more about earned media by reading “Tell Your Story”.

The centerpiece of activity, as always, was the vendor expo, which was filled with a variety of suppliers touting their products and services. Booths ran the gamut from simple displays to elaborate, multi-story examples of aerial adventure park products. Several attendees and suppliers reported being very pleased with the number of meaningful conversations they had throughout the event, with legitimate interest on both sides of the isle. Optimism prevailed.

And for ACCT, there is reason to be optimistic as well. During the annual general meeting on Friday night, the board of directors had nothing but good news to report.

After years of financial troubles, the association appears to now be on solid footing. It ended its fiscal year well in the black, and was even able to invest a half-million dollars into an interest bearing CD, set aside for future operating expenses.

Three new board members were voted in: Cameron Annas, Granite Insurance; Rohan Shahani, Challenge Works, Inc.; and Victor Gallo, Adventure Playground. Former board member Michelle Hepler was honored with the Critical Link award, an award given to a member of the ACCT community whose contributions over the years have been seen as significant in the development, maintenance, and growth of the organization. The other annual awards were put on hold for this year and will return in 2020.

The 2020 conference will be held in Raleigh, N.C. We look forward to seeing you there.  


About Author

Sarah Borodaeff is the digital editor and project manager for Adventure Park Insider magazine. A professional ski bum and former zip guide, Sarah enjoys any excuse to talk about outdoor adventures.

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