ACLP 35th Annual Conference Wrap Up

Attendees at an Intensive-1

Our historic first annual conference as the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP) was a great success, as more than 900 attendees converged on Las Vegas May 26 to 28 to share valuable knowledge and experiences, learn best practices, and network with peers. Attendees hailed from 48 U.S. states and territories and from 13 other countries.

Before conference officially kicked off on Friday, Thursday’s pre-conference intensives were well attended and were followed by a “Welcome to Las Vegas” reception in the exhibit hall that evening. The exhibit hall continued to attract attendees throughout the conference as they enjoyed buffet breakfasts, networked with colleagues, met with more than 65 exhibitors, and participated in a series of raffle drawings. 

Opening General Session

During the Opening General Session on Friday morning, energy was high as many member volunteers in leadership and committee activities were recognized and their contributions acknowledged and applauded. ACLP relies on its dedicated and talented volunteers, and conference is the perfect opportunity to acknowledge their hard work. Kevin Spencer delivered the Emma Plank Opening Keynote Address: “The Therapeutic Impact of Magic.” He endeared himself to the audience with his infectious energy and heartwarming anecdotes of his unique and successful approach to healing. Also during this session, the Mary Barkey Clinical Excellence Award was presented to Qi Cheng, MA, CCLS, by Kristin Maier, MS, CCLS, ACLP President. 

Kevin Spencer, Opening Keynote Speaker, 3 Attendees assist with magic trick

Award Presentation at Opening General Session

Educational Sessions & Networking

Opportunities to learn, increase skills, and earn PDUs were abundant throughout the weekend, during sessions of varying lengths and formats. Three Plenary Sessions were offered on Saturday. More than 600 attendees chose the presentation “Everyday Ethics: Identifying the Impact of Ethical Decision-Making on the Delivery of Compassionate Clinical Care.” In addition to participating in high-quality professional development sessions, attendees also had the opportunity to attend several networking roundtables, visit the poster presentations, and converse with ACLP leadership in the Town Hall.

Closing General Session

After a busy weekend, conference came to a close with another gathering of all attendees.  During this session, the Distinguished Service Award was presented to Anita Pumphrey, MS, CCLS, and the ACLP presidency was handed off to Eileen Clark, MSM, CCLS. To close conference on a high note, Shola Richards delivered the Closing General Session Keynote Address: “The Power of Positivity.” Shola’s optimism was contagious as he shared his moving personal story and advice about how to live and work more positively, and was the perfect way to end an uplifting and inspiring conference.

Shola Richards-Closing Keynote Speaker

Passing the Gavel From Kristin to eileen at Closing Session

Award Presentation Closing General Session

Jennifer Berube (free reg winner)

Free 2018 Conference Registration Winners

Two lucky attendees found the hidden Washington, D.C. ornaments and won free registrations for next year's conference, which will take place May 3 to 6, 2018, at Gaylord National Harbor, Maryland (D.C. Metro Area). Congratulations to Jennifer Berube and Miranda Dunnam!  

Miranda Dunnam (free reg winner)

Professional Development