Where the Magic Happens: Athletic Business Conference 2011 Bound for Orlando

The city is home to some of the country’s most popular family-friendly attractions, but this December, Orlando, FL, also will attract thousands of athletics, recreation and fitness professionals during the annual Athletic Business Conference and Expo.

The pre-conference scheduled events begin on Wednesday, Nov. 30, when early birds can choose between business (educational workshops) and pleasure (AB’s annual golf competition), or they can participate in something that is a little of both (tours of the Disney Institute or local university athletics and recreation facilities).

The conference and trade show kick off in full on Thursday, Dec. 1, with educational sessions starting at 8 a.m. and ending just before the grand opening of the trade show floor at 1 p.m. Attendees will be able to peruse the exhibitors’ booths until the floor closes at 6 p.m.—don’t forget to stop by the Club Industry booth (No. 1324).

There will be time for a short break before everyone is invited to hit the town and network with their peers at the 7 p.m. reception at Hard Rock Live in the Universal CityWalk entertainment district. Attendees at this evening event will be treated to beverages, hors d’oeuvres and live music from the band 2 A.M, along with complimentary shuttle service to and from all conference hotels. The reception ends at 10 p.m., but that does not mean you have to call it a night. The area is packed with other lively restaurants and bars. (Just remember that the early-morning workout for conference-goers starts at 6:30 a.m. the next day.)


The educational sessions continue on Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and resume later that afternoon from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. In between, attendees can catch what is bound to be one of the conference’s highlights: the keynote speech.

This year’s keynote speaker is basketball legend Bill Walton, who will address conference attendees at noon on Friday, Dec. 2. The Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer will share some of the lessons he learned from John Wooden, his coach at the University of California, Los Angeles, where Walton led his team to a record 88-game winning streak and two NCAA championships. Wooden’s lessons stuck with Walton throughout his successful professional career. After being the number one overall pick in the 1974 NBA draft, Walton went on to play in the league for 14 years, including stretches with two NBA championship teams, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Boston Celtics.

Immediately after Walton’s keynote speech, the Athletic Business trade show floor will be open from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Friday. Shortly after its close, full-conference attendees are invited to catch a shuttle to the Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar for the Facilities of Merit Awards reception. The event will recognize the architects, consultants, owners and managers associated with the facilities featured in the 2011 Athletic Business Architectural Showcase.

By the time the conference closes—after the last round of educational sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. on Saturday—attendees will no doubt have made a number of valuable contacts that they can look forward to seeing at the next two Athletic Business conferences, which will be held Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2012, in New Orleans and Nov. 21-23, 2013, in San Diego.



2011 Athletic Business Conference and Expo Schedule of Events

Nov. 30 – Dec. 3, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL

Tuesday, Nov. 29
4 p.m. - 6 p.m. — Registration

Wednesday, Nov. 30
6:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. — Registration
6:45 a.m. - 3 p.m. — 10th Annual AB Golf Classic, ChampionsGate Golf Club
8 a.m. - noon — Pre-conference tour: Disney Institute: The Business Behind the Magic Tour
8:30 a.m. - noon — Pre-conference workshop: Dealing with Difficult People, presented by Eileen Soisson
9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. — Pre-conference tour: University of South Florida athletics and recreation facilities
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Pre-conference workshop: Saving Pools Saves Lives, presented by Kevin Dessart, Mick Nelson and Sue Nelson
1 p.m. - 4 p.m. — Pre-conference tour: University of Central Florida Recreation and Wellness Center and RWC Park expansion
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. — Pre-conference workshop: Design and Construction 101: Building a Facility from Concept to Completion, presented by David Body, Robert Johnston and Colleen McKenna
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. — Pre-conference workshop: Supervisory Skills for Leadership Success, presented by Ruby Newell-Legner

Thursday, Dec. 1
6:45 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Registration
8 a.m. - 1 p.m. — Educational seminars
1 p.m. - 6 p.m. — Trade show grand opening
7 p.m. - 10 p.m. — ABC networking reception, Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk

Friday, Dec. 2
6:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. — Early-morning workout
6:15 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Registration
8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. — Educational seminars
Noon - 1:30 p.m. — Keynote address: Climbing Back to the Top of the Mountain—One More Time, presented by Bill Walton
1:30 p.m. - 5 p.m. — Trade show
4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. — Educational seminars
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. — Facility of Merit Awards reception

Saturday, Dec. 3
7:45 a.m. - noon — Registration
8:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. — Educational seminars
This schedule was correct as of Sept. 26, 2011. For more up-to-date information about the conference and for online registration, visit http://www.athleticbusinessconference.com/.

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