18 Pre-Conference

160+ Sessions

300+ Exhibitors

Photo Credit:

© City of Chicago

About The Conference / 2018 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 Hilton Chicago next January for this exceptional event!

All Images © 2017 JHyde Photography

2018 Conference Sponsors / Thank You For Your Support!

Become a sponsor

2018 Preliminary Program / Available Now!

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.

View Now

Interested in contributing to the program? The 2018 Call for Proposals has ended. However, you can learn more about the submission process when the 2019 Call for Proposals opens in January.

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

Hilton Chicago
720 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312.922.4400

Get Directions