I have just returned from my fifth American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) annual meeting. This year’s edition was held in the friendly climes of Fort Worth, TX.
Why is the President of ABMP attending the AMTA annual convention, you ask? Well, I was invited (well, I was invited at one time … but I kind of assumed it was an open invitation). I have no official role or duties, other than perhaps to be welcomed in a spirit of camaraderie. I have a very cordial relationship with Winona Bontrager, AMTA’s current president, and Bill Brown, AMTA’s Executive Director. In that spirit, it’s worth saying that despite our healthy competition and some philosophical differences, we are all in this to help massage/bodywork practitioners, and that’s really the point.
And you know what? AMTA does a nice job with their meeting.
ABMP has on occasion been asked, “When are you going to put on a convention?” But AMTA’s meeting is largely in support of their House of Delegates and state chapters—elements that don’t exist for ABMP. Most of the attendees appear to be involved in the governance of the organization. And conventions are expensive—for the organization and the attendees.
Our structure is different, and we’ve chosen to marshal our efforts and your membership fees to generate additional member benefits, and therefore value, while keeping our fees stable for more than 20 years (I had to get that in somewhere). So while I don’t see an annual convention in ABMP’s near future, I applaud them for theirs.
For those involved in the AMTA meeting, it is a good time. I’m glad they let me attend. Congratulations to Winona, Bill, and everyone else on a successful meeting.