By Nancy Jenkins
Education conferences are great, but it takes time and money to attend, right? Of these two commodities, time is often the scarcest. Yet, education and professional development are critical in order to ensure the future viability and profitability of the textile services industry.
That’s why the American Reusable Textile Association (ARTA) made the strategic decision many years ago to keep its education conferences short (two days) with sessions no longer than 40 minutes each. That means ARTA can provide as many as 14 to 15 education sessions in 1.5 days, and add a plant tour for early arrivers. It’s a formula that conference attendees appreciate, according to survey responses from this year’s conference in Ottawa, Ontario, July 25-27 at the Chateau Laurier.
“For healthcare laundry operators, ARTA hosts the best, most relevant education conferences in the industry,” said Ron Graham, director of product and service innovation for K-Bro. He added in a post-conference survey, “This conference was excellent as usual. Great venue, great speakers/content, and great scheduling. The food and beverage options were also great.”
More than 120 industry professionals — members and nonmembers — attended ARTA’s seventh biennial education conference in Canada’s capital city. Combined survey responses from attendees scored the ARTA conference at 4.8 on a scale of 5.
The highest ranked education sessions included:
* Insights and Data Supporting Reusable Textiles for Infection Control and Prevention Programs
* The Truth about C.diff and Tunnel Washers
* How to Avoid Hibiclens Stains
* Silva Clean — A Case History
* Bac-Stat Versus No Bac-Stat?
* LCAs on Incontinence Pads and Surgical Drapes, and
* Panel Discussion on How to Use LCA Data to Sell Reusables.
ARTA had a great conference. I didn’t attend; why should I care?
ARTA is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating tools and securing data that helps make the case for reusable textiles in the marketplace. To that end, ARTA keeps its dues as low as possible, runs open meetings, and posts its membership list and all resources online free of charge or for a nominal fee.
All ARTA members have immediate access to 2018 conference presentations via the Whova conference app or online via www.ARTA1.com in the members-only section. Nonmembers can access past ARTA conference presentations and research data via www.ARTA1.com under the Library or Marketing and Education Tools sections. There may be a nominal fee for some downloads. Beginning in 2019, all sessions from the 2018 ARTA Education Conference will be moved to the public section of the ARTA website.
“ARTA’s work is funded by membership dues and the generous support of our sponsors,” says President Brendan O’Neill of London Hospital Linen Services in London, Ontario. “Our mission is simple: to create greater awareness and appreciation for reusable textiles. Therefore, our objectives are to gather, collect and share information that helps you sell and promote reusable textiles over single-use disposable alternatives.” For more information, www.ARTA1.com or njenkins@ARTA1.com.
About the author:
Nancy Jenkins is the executive editor of ARTA and principal of Jenkins Integrated Marketing (JIM). She is based in Lees Summit, Missouri.