Safety 2023 Hits Record Numbers
The annual ASSP event running June 5-7 in San Antonio has enjoyed its best attendance to date.
- By David Kopf
- Jun 07, 2023
More than 6,000 safety professionals turned up to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas for Safety 2023 this week.
That number marks a record attendance for the annual American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) conference and expo, according to Christine Sullivan, CSP, ARM, president of the ASSP. Sullivan added that the exhibitor hall also boasted more than 550 exhibitors for the event’s expo.
Sullivan attributes that historically high turnout among attendees and vendors to a pervasive desire among safety professionals to meet up in person now that the Covid-19 public health emergency is officially over, according to Health and Human Services.
“We were last here [San Antonio] in 2018,” she explained. “People wanted to be back together. So, as an organization, we made the decision to focus on in-person.
“After Covid, we held our event virtual initially,” Sullivan continued. “Then we did a virtual component and an in-person component. This year, we did not do a virtual component.”
That decision was made due to overwhelming feedback from members, according to Sullivan.
“They wanted to be back in person,” she said. “They wanted to see each other. I talk about seeing people in 3D versus 2D. They wanted to see people in 3D. They wanted that networking opportunity.”
And in response to that desire, Sullivan said the ASSP emphasized member experience for this year’s Safety show, with offerings such as Career Center and PPE Fashion Show on the show floor, as well as a networking event on San Antonio’s Riverwalk, which attracted more than 800 attendees. Those experiences ensure that ASSP members derive value from the event well after it’s over.
“I always tell people that you should leave a conference with at least one or two new connections,” Sullivan noted. “Don’t just only talk to the people you know; talk to the people you don’t know. It’s, it’s been a fantastic conference. It’s been a lot of fun.”
David Kopf is the publisher and executive editor of Occupational Health & Safety magazine.