AOTA Wins Fastest 50 Award for Annual Conference & Expo

BETHESDA, MD (May 23, 2014)—The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) has won Trade Show Executive’s Fastest 50 Award, recognizing growth in attendance for its 93rd Annual Conference & Expo held in 2013 in San Diego.

The Fastest 50 Award measures three criteria: highest growth in exhibition space, highest growth in exhibiting companies, and highest growth in attendance. AOTA is being recognized for attendance growth from its 92nd annual conference held in Indianapolis in 2012 and its 93rd annual conference held in San Diego in 2013. The Indianapolis conference drew 6,473 attendees and exhibitors, and the San Diego conference—AOTA’s third largest conference ever at the time—drew 7,133 attendees and exhibitors.

Director of Conferences Frank Gainer, MHS, OTR/L, FAOTA, CAE, and Director of Sales and Corporate Relations Jeff Casper, CEM, accepted the award on behalf of AOTA on May 21 in Chicago.  

“Each year we ask attendees what we can do to improve their Conference experience, and we do everything we can to implement their suggestions,” says Gainer. “Based on their feedback we’ve offered more sessions for advanced level practitioners, made our onsite guide easier to use, added networking lounges for informal discussions, increased social media presence, and revised the system for tracking and obtaining Continuing Education credits. These changes have helped our attendance numbers grow, which makes AOTA attractive to more cities, which in turn helps us get the best value and experience for our members.”

This is the Association’s third Fastest 50 award; AOTA’s Annual Conference & Expo also made the list for its 2010 and 2011 events.

According to Trade Show Executive’s website, medical and healthcare trade shows make up 16 percent of the entire Fastest 50 recognized for 2013 events. Additionally, nonprofit groups, including AOTA, organized 42 of the Fastest 50 shows.

Founded in 1917, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) represents the professional interests and concerns of more than 140,000 occupational therapists, assistants, and students nationwide. The Association educates the public and advances the profession of occupational therapy by providing resources, setting standards including accreditations, and serving as an advocate to improve health care. Based in Bethesda, Md., AOTA’s major programs and activities are directed toward promoting the professional development of its members and assuring consumer access to quality services so patients can maximize their individual potential. For more information, go to