May 2017 -- In case you did not know, we will be returning to Orlando, Fla., for the 2017 World Conference after a four year absence. But this gathering of our leadership and engaged members is going to be unlike any that we have held in the past. Why? Not only will we be showing off our new eco-friendly and technological World Headquarters, but you will able to experience the brand new USTA National Campus in Lake Nona!
Part of what will make this World Conference special will be the collaboration with the USTA and its Tennis Development Workshop, which brings together community tennis providers from around the country who build programs at CTAs, inner cities and public parks. Along with our tennis-teaching professionals, this joint effort will truly be a melting pot of the very leaders who are the biggest stakeholders in growing the game. Being neighbors with the governing body in Lake Nona will have definitive advantages – pooling our resources to produce a mega-educational event like we have planned is just one example of how we will be able to work together in the future.
While we have traditionally held our World Conference in September and the USTA has usually conducted its TDW in November, we compromised on the dates and determined that this dual event would be best held in the middle of October – the 12th through 15th. Please see the Save the Date advertisement in this publication. Our board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 10, followed by our Executive Committee on Wednesday, Oct. 11. While we will have a modest selection of educational offerings on that Wednesday, the real action will commence on Thursday, Oct. 12. And, what a kick off we will have!
Imagine a “Disneyland of Tennis” at the USTA National Campus. Starting early that morning and running until the middle of the afternoon, we will have all of the on-court education taking place that day. You will be able to pick and choose from a wide variety of seminars dealing with every aspect of being a tennis professional. Walk from seminar to seminar on player development/high performance, ladies team tennis drills, 10 and Under Tennis, pro shop profitability/stringing pointers, tournament administration, etc. – everything that you are curious to learn about will be easily accessible. Come to the open house at our newly constructed office and meet our new staff. It will end an incredible day.
You will then return by bus to the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld for our usual buying show with dinner and our silent auction that raises funds for the USPTA Foundation. After that dizzying first day, there will be three solid days of general sessions and classroom sessions conveniently located in the hotel, all designed to elevate your knowledge of the latest trends in the tennis-teaching world.
Friday will feature an awards banquet that will recognize not only the very best USPTA Professionals for their contribution to the game and to our association, but we will share the stage with the USTA, which will honor those who have done amazing work in the trenches. That evening, we will go back out to the “Home of American Tennis” for a special Battle of Divisions that you won’t want to miss!
Of course, we will have the usual social events, including the welcoming party on Wednesday night with a special twist and our division parties on Saturday night. In other words, the week is going to be packed with education but also some fun events that always make for a great time.
The theme for this year’s conference is Next Generation and will encompass four different tracks, including the new USTA youth brand initiative, Net Generation (that you will be hearing much more about). Because our ultimate goal is to grow the game, which is synonymous with the USTA’s, we have a professional responsibility do whatever we can to help deliver on this comprehensive endeavor.
I am extremely enthused about the prospects for this year’s conference. Doing things as we have always done them is a recipe for mediocrity. We have to look at alternative ways to deliver outstanding content and teaching tools to make our professionals better at what they do. I am confident that you will come away from this conference more energized than ever and enthusiastic about our association and the future that is ahead. Don’t be foolhardy and blow this chance to mix and mingle with the movers and shakers of our industry.