18 Pre-Conference

162 Sessions

300+ Exhibitors

Photo Credit:

© City of Chicago

About The Conference /2019 Soaring to New Heights

As the premier state conference for parks and recreation, forest preserves and conservation agencies in Illinois, the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights conference brings together more than 4,200 professionals and elected officials for three exciting days of quality educational programming, networking and professional development.  Featuring over 150 educational sessions and workshops, and an exhibit hall where more than 300 exhibitors showcase their latest and greatest products and services, the 2018 conference is THE place to be!  Mark your calendars now and plan to join us at the Hyatt Regency Chicago next January for this exceptional event!

All Images © 2017 JHyde Photography

2018 Conference Sponsors /Thank You For Your Support!

Become a sponsor

2019 Preliminary Program /Coming Soon!

Get the insight you need and find the learning you seek with a first-class educational program filled with inspirational presentations, real-world case studies, peer exchange and access to leading solution providers.

Interested in contributing to the program? The 2019 Call for Proposals has ended. However, you can learn more about the submission process when the 2020 Call for Proposals opens in January.

Career Development Symposium /
Kathie W. Mayo/January 18, 2018

Strategies for the Overwhelmed

Do you ever leave work with your “to do” lists half finished? If you’re like most people, it happens often. Your ambitious plans were sacrificed to…

• A bottomless in-basket
• The constant stream of minor crises “only you can handle”
• Endless details, emails, phone calls and interruptions that leave you wondering, “Will I ever get caught up?”

Wonder no more. You can get caught up and start getting ahead. You will learn to work smarter, not harder to get more done and add more value within your agency. You will feel less stressed and frazzled. But best of all, you will be able to get to the high-priority projects you never seem to have time for. It’s no secret that successful people are those who have learned to control their days – instead of letting interruptions, paper chases and the phone control them.

By attending this workshop, you will:

• Identify what is important
• Anticipate problems and prevent bottlenecks
• Spot the hidden shortcuts in every project
• Resolve the conflict when other people’s goals compete with yours
• Stop procrastinating…get started…and get it done!

Keynote Speaker /Eddie Slowikowski/
January 20, 2018

The Best Version of YOU

“There’s a way to do it better – find it.” This quote from Thomas Edison gets to the heart of innovation. Utilize your in-born gifts of imagination and creativity to build the ultimate peak performer. Internationally known speaker Eddie Slowikowski takes participants on the ride of a lifetime to discover the greatness that lies within all of us.

In his program, The Best Version of You, Eddie shows audiences how to transcend failure. By relating the story of coming in second place at the big State Championship, Eddie relates how setbacks can set us up for future success. How we respond to “losing” shows us who we really are because, when the chips are down, your true character is revealed. Find the winner within through struggle and come out the other side to be a more well-rounded, battle-tested and mature person.

The Best Version of You takes things up a notch with high-energy audience interaction. Through hilarious and poignant storytelling, Eddie gets to the core of what it really means to dig deep and find “the real you.” What makes you tick? Why do you act and react the way you do? How can you be more comfortable in your own skin? By questioning your actions and influences, you can discover the truth at the heart of your character. In the end, being the best version of you is all anyone can ask. And that’s where true leadership begins.

Event Location

Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: 312.565.1234

Get Directions

Illinois Association of Park Districts
211 E. Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62701-1186
Phone: 217-523-4554

IPRA Logo_Small

Illinois Park and Recreation Association
536 East Avenue
La Grange, IL 60525-6815
Phone: 708-588-2280