ABMP School Forums

Since 1997, the ABMP School Forums have brought together the brightest minds in bodywork education to share ideas that shape the future of massage therapy. What can you share that will stimulate progress? What advances are working in your classrooms? How are you empowering the next generation of massage professionals? Join the conversation and lead the change. We need your voice. If you are a school owner, director, admissions representative, instructor, career services counselor, or curriculum designer—this is your conference!

Announcing the 2018 ABMP School Forum in Denver, Colorado!

April 27–28, 2018
The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa
Registration: $199
We are on a waiting list! Please email kim@abmp.com to put your name on the list, as we do anticipate being able to offer several more spots.

Schedule of Events
Comments from 2017 Attendees
Travel and Lodging Information

2018 ABMP School Forum Schedule

DAY 1, April 27, 2018

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.  Optional Pre-Conference Workshop: “Using ABMP Exam Coach and ABMP Student Life in the Classroom” with the ABMP Education Team

12:00 p.m.–1:00 p.m:     Registration and Lunch

1:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m:       Welcome

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.       “Good Questions: How to Think About the Future of Massage Education” with Les Sweeney

We live in a world where people want both an instant answer and are ready to offer answers (and judgments) at a moment’s notice. Good questions require us to see through superficial answers and focus instead on what is difficult, complicated, enigmatic, awkward, and sometimes painful. In this session, we’ll deeply contemplate good questions about the future of massage education to get to the heart of what really matters.

3:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m:       Break

3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m:       “The Non-Scary, Realistic Guide to Change” with Taffie Lewis

“I want to change the way we market to high school students.” “WHAT?!” “I want to change the way we teach career classes.” “NO!” “I want to change our admissions procedures.” “YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!” At massage schools, even small changes can feel scary, but they don’t have to be. In this session, we’ll use an easy method to make change more accessible—for your students, for your teachers, for your staff, and for your life!

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m:       ABMP Reception

DAY 2, April 28, 2018

8:00 a.m.–8:45 a.m:        Breakfast

8:45 a.m.–10:15 a.m:     Breakout

Manager Focus: “School Operations—Pooling Our Best Ideas” with Kristin Coverly

School operations is a big topic because it might include diverse activities like organizing a new student computer lab, writing school policies, managing staff, writing the school budget, making sure the parking lot is lit at night, and the list goes on. School leaders must balance attention to an exceptional education program, while ensuring the school environment is organized, clean, safe, and nurturing. This session explores the best ideas from participants for managing school operations.   

Education Focus: “Teaching Hands-On Skills—Best Practices for the Classroom” with Anne Williams  

The psychomotor domain is learning related to well-coordinated physical movements, hands-on skills, fluid use of professional language, learned behaviors, and informed responses. We’re teaching in this domain when we provide a demonstration of massage techniques, use role playing in ethics classes, or teach professionalism (among others). Learn the research-informed theory and practice of teaching hands-on skills in this information-packed session.

10:15 a.m.–10:45 a.m:   Break

10:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m:   Breakout

Manager Focus: “Hiring Practices to Create an All-Star Team” with Les Sweeney

ABMP President Les Sweeney appreciates getting compliments on his staff. Building a great team takes time and effort, but the results are worth it. In this session, Les will share thoughtful, effective hiring practices that help you find the right people, improve employee retention, and avoid nonproductive vacancies. Opportunities for discussion in this session will let us learn from each other’s experiences.    

Education Focus: “Improving Student Outcomes Through Well-Written Rubrics” with Anne Williams

A rubric is an assessment tool used to measure the degree to which a learner meets the criteria for demonstration of a particular skill. Research shows that rubrics improve instructor clarity, learner comprehension, self-assessment, and skill performance. They also lead to better peer-to-peer feedback and faculty consistency. However, writing a good rubric can be tricky. In this session, Anne will walk you through an effective process for defining and communicating skill performance in a well-written rubric.

12:15 p.m.–1:00 p.m:     Lunch

1:00 p.m.–2:30 p.m:       Breakout

Manager Focus: “Building Relationships Using Today’s Technology” with Jed Heneberry

At a recent ABMP Instructors on the Front Lines event, a teacher shared a story. She explained that a colleague required students to write blogs in her course. She decided to check out the student blog posts and was blown away with the depth of student thoughtfulness. She made simple comments and shared some feedback. The next day, a number of students sought her out to thank her for her input. This simple story illuminates that technology can help build relationships with students. In this session, we’ll explore a number of ways technology feeds, rather than impedes, our school relationships.  
Education Focus: “Presentation Design for How People Learn” with Anne Williams  

Discover how to use key principles in instructional design to engage your audience, support learning processes, and create stunning presentations. We’ll explore the secrets of structure and slide design that will allow you to quickly take your presentation expertise to a new level.

2:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m:       Closing

Comments from 2017 ABMP Attendees

“The ABMP School Forum was both informative and enjoyable. ABMP is always on the cutting edge of what's next in massage education and presents this information in such an enjoyable way.” Courtney Kupfer, CenterPoint Massage & Shiatsu Therapy School & Clinic

“This is a MUST attend event for all school owners/directors! You will not leave without at least one piece of information that will help you improve your school in some way.” Casey Weber, Broadview University–Wausau

“The dynamic discussions, camaraderie and inspiration were so valuable in motivating me to continue my vital work in the massage education industry.” Trevin E. Gay, Life Empowered Institute & East West Healing Arts Institute

“This was my first forum and it provided me with great new contacts and an immense amount of information to bring back to the school to share with others.” Robin Rinehart, Broadview University–Madison

Travel and Lodging

The Brown Palace Hotel and Spa 
321 17th Street
Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-297-3111
Reservations: 800-228-9290, or use this link to book the group rate.

The registration fee for the 2018 ABMP School Forum does not include lodging. Attendees must contact the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa directly at 800-228-9290 and make reservations under the group name “ABMP School Conference” to receive a special meeting rate of $189.00 per night plus tax. This discounted group rate is only guaranteed until the room block is full.  

Attendees will fly into Denver International Airport (DIA). Super Shuttle will take you from the airport to the Brown Palace for approximately $27. Taxi fare from the airport to the hotel averages $55–$65, depending on traffic. For more information or other options for travel to and from the airport, visit DIA Ground Transportation Information.