The signature event of the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) attracted nearly 6,000 occupational safety and health professionals in June to set an in-person attendance record for the global event. An additional 300-plus people joined a livestream session while 2,100 exhibitor representatives populated the exposition hall, ultimately involving more than 8,300 people in the Safety 2023 Professional Development Conference and Exposition in San Antonio.
“We saw a big desire from safety professionals to network with colleagues and stay current on best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations,” said ASSP President Jim Thornton, CSP, CIH, FASSP, FAIHA. “It was incredible to see a record turnout so soon after the pandemic. Safety 2023 was a true success.”
The registered attendance of 5,937 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center surpassed ASSP’s previous record of 5,905 from Safety 2019 in New Orleans. It is one of America’s largest annual conferences for the advancement of workplace safety and health that began in Chicago in 1962.
Boosting Safety 2023’s popularity was a dynamic expo with more than 550 vendor booths that covered over 100,000 square feet. The extensive product showcase was a key element of the overall experience. “Our expo is so illuminating that we get some safety and health professionals coming only for that,” Thornton said.
Safety 2023 welcomed 3,100 first-time attendees, making up more than half of the total attendance. Also, 43 percent of the record crowd were non-members who received a free year of ASSP membership. The results signal future growth for ASSP and the workplace safety and health profession.
“We’re proud to be a leader in providing professional development for the occupational safety and health community,” Thornton said. “Our event shares case studies and new safety approaches along with vast networking opportunities that help practitioners solve challenges and advance their careers.”
In a post-event survey of Safety 2023 attendees, 9 out of 10 respondents said they would recommend the conference to a colleague while more than 80 percent indicated they plan to attend next year’s event.
The conference surpassed its $25,000 fundraising goal as participants donated $26,550 to the ASSP Foundation, including a $10,000 match from Liberty Mutual. The ASSP Foundation promotes occupational safety and health as a career choice and works to build a sustainable talent pipeline in the profession that will help make all industries safer worldwide.
ASSP’s Safety 2024 takes place Aug. 7-9 next year at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, known for its natural beauty with more than 200 city parks and views of the Rocky Mountains. The Mile High City features trendy restaurants, a thriving arts scene and countless outdoor activities, such as kayaking on the river that runs through downtown. At the State Capitol, the 13th step is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level.
Groups planning to attend Safety 2024 can save on the entire conference. More than 100 groups received discounts on this year’s event. To learn about group offers, contact ASSP’s Nancy O’Toole at email@example.com.