The final numbers are in, and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has officially held its biggest safety conference and exposition in the event’s 56-year history. ASSE’s Safety 2017 Professional Development Conference & Exposition in Denver attracted 5,244 attendees and 640 exhibitors in June, easily surpassing its previous highs. Attendance was up 23 percent from last year’s event.

“I think the main ingredient to our success is that our Society remains extremely relevant and valuable to our members, who are enthusiastic about growing personally and professionally,” said David Natalizia, chair of the ASSE Professional Development Conference Planning Committee. “They are committed to absorbing as much knowledge as possible to help their companies better protect workers in every industry. Our record-setting numbers are a tribute to their dedication to the safety and health field.”

ASSE’s Safety 2016 in Atlanta attracted 4,255 attendees, while 4,182 safety professionals came out to Safety 2015 in Dallas. The conference’s previous record crowd occurred at Safety 2011 in Chicago, which attracted 4,535 participants during the Society’s 100th anniversary celebration.

Safety 2017 featured 2,135 newcomers to the event, making up 45 percent of the total attendance. That percentage of first-time attendees has remained the same for the past three conferences. Nearly one-fourth of this year’s crowd consisted of non-members, which totaled 1,296.

On the exposition side, the final count of 640 registered exhibitors at Safety 2017 surpassed the event record of 615 from Safety 2015 in Dallas. This year’s product showcase covered 113,805 square feet at the Colorado Convention Center, topping the 104,473 square feet taken up by exhibitors two years ago at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

ASSE’s annual conference and expo brings together safety and health professionals from 40 countries who learn about best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations in the occupational safety and health field.

“ASSE is the leader in providing professional development for safety professionals,” said ASSE President Jim Smith, M.S., CSP. “Our conference has global experts sharing case studies and new techniques, with vast networking opportunities that can help advance your career.”

New this year, a Plenary Town Hall was held at Safety 2017 that enabled thousands of attendees to view a spirited debate on behavior-based safety between safety experts Scott Geller, Todd Conklin, Eric Grundke and Kurt Krueger. The audience received a deeper understanding of how behavior-based safety is evolving in this time of political transition and de-regulation while learning how to better manage safety at their own companies.

Next year’s safety conference and exposition is set for June 3-6, 2018, in downtown San Antonio at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center on the banks of the San Antonio River Walk. The convention center was recently transformed through a $325 million capital improvement project, the largest in the City of San Antonio’s history.

Groups attending Safety 2018 can save on the entire conference. To learn about group offers, please contact ASSE group coordinators Nancy O’Toole at and Tom Kerschner at

About ASSE – Working together for a safer, stronger future

For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Engineers has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of over 37,000 professionals covers every industry, developing safety and health management plans that prevent deaths, injuries and illnesses. ASSE advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards development and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.