John Embree, USPTA CEO

There are certain cities across the country where we know our members will turn out for the World Conference. New Orleans drew a great  crowd. Who didn’t want to go to New York City last year and catch a day or two of the Open? Folks are always excited to take the family to our hometown of Orlando, the happiest place on earth. But nothing draws a crowd like Las Vegas!

So when it came to selecting the host city for our upcoming USPTA World Conference, Las Vegas was far and away the most intriguing option. First of all, we have not been to Las Vegas since 2006. Secondly, when we were last there, it was unquestionably the highest attended conference we have ever had. And because 2019 is the third year of the current continuing education cycle, there will be a hoard of members looking to get the credits they need to keep their membership compliant. Lastly, we were able to secure a property (the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino) that wanted our business and was able to meet all of the specs that we require for our World Conference. Plus, it is the largest sports book in the world!

We are fast approaching the start of this annual get together. If you have not already registered, please do so. This will be my seventh USPTA World Conference in my capacity as CEO, and I have to say that this year’s event is going to be the biggest and the most fantastic conference that we have put on in that time. It will be a veritable “who’s who” of presenters! 

We have over 40 sessions confirmed plus two specialty courses (on Sunday), all highlighted by an appearance of Andre Agassi on Wednesday. What a coup for us to have him share his perspective on coaching today. Knowing how important it is to feature women in our association, we have dedicated a day (Tuesday) to specifically showcase the top female professionals in our sport. While the percentage of our total membership is 20% female, over 30% of the speakers over the four days are women. Each day is packed with the most reputable and respected speakers in our industry. 

But besides the outstanding education being served up, we have four days of social activities scheduled that will be a blast! We begin on Monday evening, September 23 with our Merchandise and Trade Show. Not only will we have a buffet dinner in the hall, we will be showcasing Monday Night Football (my beloved Bears vs. the Redskins) throughout the exhibit hall so that everyone can hang out, watch some football and support our vendors. Tuesday afternoon will see our General Membership Meeting where we will have a “town hall” forum to learn more about the new certification pathway and USTA Accreditation. Your division parties will follow thereafter. After Andre’s Q&A on Wednesday morning, we will host our Awards luncheon where we will recognize those USPTA members who have contributed so mightily to our association, including our two hall of fame inductees, Frank Brennan, Jr. and Dick Gould. And our final event on Thursday evening will be a barbecue cookout around the outdoor courts where we will watch the final matches of the USPTA tournament being played. 

With the desert heat in September making educational sessions outdoors unbearable, we have arranged for a stadium court to be set up inside a ballroom which will make those sessions very comfortable to witness. In addition, the staff has come up with a few surprises for the week that I think will be very popular with the attendees. 

For all of the reasons that I have cited above and for those of you who like to go to Las Vegas, this is a World Conference you don’t want to miss. Yes, the glamour and glitz of Las Vegas is compelling (Cha-Ching, Cha-Ching) but the educational content that has been coordinated by our staff and the Education Committee is truly outstanding. I cannot wait to welcome you to our annual gathering.  

The tables await. The slot machines are primed. The Westgate is eager to accept your wagers. And, the USPTA is prepared to shine during our biggest week of the year. Come join us!