Thursday, June 9, 2011

Meetings, Meetings, and More Meetings

There are so many organizations offering gatherings for continuing education and organizations presenting conferences and conventions that it makes my head spin.  At the end and throughout this post are some (not all of them) links for you to explore. This year I will be at The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education meeting in August and the AMTA convention in October.  I am already registered for the Third International Fascia Research Congress, Vancouver, BC March 2012 and know that I will attend the International Massage Therapy Research Conference – Presented by the Massage Therapy Foundation  April 25-27, 2013, in Boston.   I provide continuing education for state chapter meetings and other groups and schools when asked. I really like that because I prefer to teach smaller groups. I have also presented courses at many of the other gatherings but I really prefer teaching small groups.

I remember the days when I would attend all the meetings but at that time there were three or four meetings – not 14, 15 or more.  In 2010, I made the commitment to attend all ABMP and AMTA meetings along with The Massage Therapy Foundation  Meetings. I did this because there were important events occurring in the profession such as the release of the Massage Therapy Body of Knowledge ( which I fully support and the development of the Alliance for Massage Therapy Education (AFMTE) of which Health Enrichment Center School of Massage is a founding member. I was really tired after that.

I also volunteer for a variety of committees that have the potential to positively influence the future of massage therapy. I have phone meetings, webinar meetings and face to face meetings I also have meetings about textbooks with my publisher both on the phone and in St Louis. Then there are school staff meetings, meetings that occur just because we all ended up in the same room for some reason- that happened today as a matter of fact. I love and hate meetings. It is great that there are so many options for gathering and learning and sharing. Check this link for the Massage Therapy Foundation blog. I just found out that it is discussing some of the same content as I am. . Now how cool is that?!.

However, too much of a good thing can become a bad thing. So remember I just said after attending just about everything in 2010 I was really tired. Well not only was I really tired, I spent a lot of money and a lot of time to do that. I know I can’t do that every year. The travel time and costs really becomes a burden. If I were running the massage profession, I would try to support attendance with some creative scheduling.  For example, the ABMP School Issues Forum is a really great and unique meeting. The first Alliance for Massage Therapy Education conference in Utah was outstanding and I expect the same for the one coming up this August in Charleston to be the same. The AMTA also sponsored a school summit meeting this year that I did not attend so I cannot comment personally but those in attendance I spoke with said it was valuable. Wouldn’t it be a-dream-come true if all three of those meetings were scheduled in the same place and at the same time. ABMP could have Friday and Saturday, The Alliance could share Saturday and have Sunday. The AMTA could share Sunday and have Monday. I could leave on Thursday and come home on Tuesday.  The meetings could be scheduled at a cost effective venue so the food and lodging did not cost an arm and leg.  Well, I can dream. This would require a little cooperation among the groups but I can dream can’t I?

Wouldn’t it be great if the World Massage Festival, American Massage Conference and AMTA convention worked together to make sure that the yearly events were spread out with one on the west coast, one on the east coast and one some where in the middle and at different times of the year so massage therapists could gather for continuing education, idea sharing and professional support. Well there’s another dream. Who knows it could happen.  I think that the International Massage Therapy Research Conference – Presented by the Massage Therapy Foundation are the most important meetings of all and I will always make attending those meetings a priority and think you should too. By the way, I teach some continuing education classes at my school that are pretty cool and affordable as well as I have affordable lodging available. Check out the School web site for specifics.

So that’s my post.  It took a long time. I am going to wonder around in my garden for a while.


  1. I agree, it does get to be a real head spinner when trying to figure out which conferences to attend. In 2010, 28 or the 52 weeks I spent on the road attending conferences, teaching & training which I always enjoy teaching, but I have to say I am not repeating that schedule this year. From a Vendor perspective I will always recommend attending the Florida State Massage Therapy Association Convention and if you are a therapist in FL it is a "can't miss opportunity". I agree it would be nice to have the shows evenly spread across the country, but you also need vendor support and have to evaluate not just massage shows but the other show schedules in other industries that the same vendors attend. Such as Chiropractic, Acupuncture, and Spa & Esthetic shows so not to conflict with them as well especially if you depend on certain vendor support. Vendors are just as much a customer of the show as attendees and teachers. So understanding your customer's needs makes a difference. Having been a vendor for over 15 years sometimes it was difficult to choose which shows to support. Of course you want to support them all and still fit it in your budget. It helps when they are in close proximity and dates so you could save on shipping costs. That is a silver lining. I enjoyed your blog Sandy, and the photo of your garden, I can understand why you like spending so much time in it. Thank you for all your work in this industry, I look forward to reading upcoming posts.

  2. Good article. My struggle is that with little money and so many seminars, workshops, meetings etc to possibly attend it gets hard to pick and choose what to do and how far you're willing to travel. I can see how this all can get tiring!

  3. Sandy,
    Our meteorology conferences alter between east, central, and west each year. It works out good, because at least every third year you could probably drive to a conference if you can't fly. Our recertifications are based somewhat on making it to a conference at least once every three years.