Schedule At A Glance

All meetings, program sessions, General Sessions, and Exhibit Hall events will take place at the Washington State Convention Center. Schedule is subject to change.  Click here for a more detailed schedule of meetings and sessions.

Symbol Key: This program track key will help you identify the primary professional interest for each concurrent session. 
Attendees are encouraged to review all sessions for specific interests and additional learning opportunities.

 Animal Management, Health & Welfare  Conservation Public Relations & Marketing
 Aquarium Affairs  Development & Membership Volunteer & Docent Management
 Business Operations  Education Trends & More


Saturday, September 22
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Accreditation Hearings (closed)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Executive Leadership Development Program (invite only)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee
8:00 am to 7:30 pm SOLD OUT! Pre-Conference Tour - Oregon Zoo (additional $75 fee)


Sunday, September 23
7:00 am to 5:30 pm Registration Open
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Committee and Animal Program Meetings
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Accreditation Hearings (closed)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop - Techniques in Lean and Process Improvement
(additional $150 registration fee)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop - Contemporary Animal Training
(additional $150 registration fee)
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Pre-Conference Workshop - Leadership Essentials
(additional $150 registration fee)
12:30 pm to 4:30 pm Pre-Conference Workshop - Program Evaluation in Zoos and Aquariums
(additional $75 registration fee)


Monday, September 24
7:00 am to 6:15 pm Registration Open
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Committee and Animal Program Meetings
8:00 am to 5:00 pm Accreditation Hearings (closed)
3:30 pm to 4:30 pm First Time Attendee Meeting
4:30 pm to 6:00 pm Student Social
6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Icebreaker at the Seattle Aquarium


Tuesday, September 25
7:00 am to 5:30 pm Registration Open
7:30 am to 8:00 am Light Continental Breakfast
8:00 am to 9:30 am Opening General Session
9:30 am to 6:30 pm Exhibit Hall Open
Grand Opening - 9:30 am-10:30 am
10:30 am to 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions
Everything Elephants: Visitor Perceptions, Conservation Education, Animal Management and Welfare
The Evolution of Conservation Research Departments in Aquariums: Where We Have Been, Where We Are Now, and Where We Should Be
Animal Welfare Law Affecting the Future of Zoos and Aquariums: Will We Go Extinct or Evolve?
Growing Collaborative and Strategic Conservation Through AZA SAFE
Membership Program 101
Best Practices and Emerging Trends in Conservation Education and Engagement
How to Learn about and Win over Your Visitors - Market Research and Guest Satisfaction
Successes and Next Steps on the Road to Creating a Diverse and Inclusive Volunteer Culture
What's New In Exhibit Design
Accreditation:  Update on Standards and General Overview
12:00 pm to 2:00 pm Exhibit Hall Lunch
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Paradigm Shift - To Behavioral Goal Based Enrichment Programs
NOAA's Partnerships with Aquariums and Zoos: Opportunities for Community Engagement through Education
Congratulations, You've Been Promoted to Supervisor! Now What?
The Five Commitments: Joining Forces to Combat Wildlife Trafficking
Getting Along - Development and Marketing Working Together to Achieve a Common Goal 
Visitor Perceptions of the Well-Being of Animals
Trust, Truth and Transparency: The Secrets for Building a Successful Zoological and Communications Relationship
Building a Better Home for Wildlife: Saving Species and Cultivating Conservationists through Local Habitat Restoration
Making Zoos and Aquariums Sensory Inclusive Every Day
Regs, Regs, Regs
Directors' Meeting
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Directors' Meeting
Open to directors of accredited and certified institutions only
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Trending Topics in Animal Welfare: Standing at the Intersection of Animal Management and Animal Welfare
What's In Your Bucket? AZA SAFE Shark and Ray SSP Sustainability Bucket
More Than Metrics, Sustainability is Mission Critical
Maximizing the Conservation Impact of our Zoos and Aquariums through Behavior Change
Membership Stewardship in the Digital Age
Empathy Everywhere - Exploring Approaches to Empathy at AZA Institutions
Brand Stories: Beyond the Logo
Generating Greatness
Mythbusters! Debunking Common Diversity and Inclusion Misconceptions
Assessing Public Perceptions of Zoos and Aquariums: Comparing Data and Recommendations from Four Different Research Firms
5:30 pm to 6:30 pm Party-On-The-Floor Exhibit Hall Reception
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm The Evening Buzz
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Directors' Dinner
By invitation only


Wednesday, September 26
7:00 am to 5:30 pm Registration Open
7:30 am to 8:00 am Light Continental Breakfast
8:00 am to 10:00 am General Session
10:00 am to 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions
The Quarantine Expereince
Where the Wet Things Are - Best Practices of Great Touch Pools
I Just Don't Understand That (Fill in the Blank) Generation! A Panel Conversation about a Multi-generational Workplace
SAFE and IUCN: Connecting International Conservation Leaders
Maximizing Impact, Revenue, Visitation and Membership with Special Exhibitions and New Features
Evidence-Based Practice for Effective Behavior Change: Discussing the Realities of Program Implementation
Earned, Owned, and Paid Media
Leading from the Middle - How to Achieve Success Professionally and Personally
Communicating with Critics: Using the Way our Brains Work to Help Us Engage in Productive Dialogue
On the Boards
11:45 pm to 1:45 pm Honors & Awards Lunch
1:30 pm to 7:00 pm Exhibit Hall Open
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
New Resources and Recent Successes for Applying Molecular Data to Collection Management
Strategic Partnering to Support Our Common Goals
Necessity is the Mother of Invention: How Small Institutions Meet Everyday Challenges When Resources are Limited
Conservation Connections:  Successful Partnerships Between Zoo Educators and Field Researchers
New Ideas for On-site Member and Donor Acquisition - They're Already Here, We Might as Well Ask Them!
Hows, Whats, and Whys of Interpretive Master Planning 
Best of Marketing
It Takes a Village: Techniques for Fostering Internal Community
Current Trends in Exotic Animal Emergency Management
Putting the Public in Public Policy
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm AZA Board of Directors Meeting
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm Concurrent Sessions
Developing an Animal Welfare Assessment Process (Standard 1.5.0) - Where Do We Start?
Best of RAW: Regional Aquatics Workshop
From Access to Inclusion and Beyond!
Keys to Successful Reintroduction - Beyond the Biology
Strategies for Engaging Donors, Sponsors and Community Members in Your Capital Campaign
A New Generation of Field Trip Engagements
Evolving Perceptions of Zoos and Aquariums and What to do About Them
Strategies for Leveraging Today’s Teens to Fulfill Our Missions
Child Protection at Zoos and Aquariums
Women in Leadership: Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm Poster Reception in Exhibit Hall
Conclusion of the Silent Auction


Thursday, September 27
7:00 am to 10:30 am Registration Open
8:00 am to 9:30 am Concurrent Sessions
Terrestrial Invertebrates Welfare
 Connecting the Spots: A Collective Approach to Conserving Sand Tiger Sharks
Movin’ on Up: A Mid-Level Manager’s Toolbox for Progressing in Their Career
What is Sustainable Enterprise? Depends Who's Asking: Conservation, Community Livelihoods, and Responsible Sourcing
Creative Ways to Deepen Relationships and Build Support
Connected Learning in Zoos - Innovative Approaches in Using Technology to Enhance Conservation Education
Conservation Storytelling from the Front Lines
Innovative Strategies to Meet Institutional Needs for Facilities with Limited Resources and Budget
CITES - A Treaty with Teeth
Lessons Learned: Exhibits That Withstand The Test Of Time
9:30 am to 10:00 am Refreshment Break
10:00 am to 11:30 am Concurrent Sessions
Ambassador Animal Hot Topics
Managing The Unseen Majority: The Aquarium Microbiome
If You Are Not Improving, You Are Falling Behind: How Zoos and Aquariums Are Continuously Improving their Operations and Reducing Cost
Local Conservation Programs: Saving Species and Advancing Science in our own Backyards
Building a Comprehensive Fundraising Program from the Ground Up
So You're Thinking about Evaluation Capacity Building?
Otterly Engaging: Building a Mission-Based Social Strategy
Crisis Management - Communicating with Your Volunteers and Staff
Social Movements for Conservation: Are we Ready to Mobilize our 200 Million Visitors to Become a Force for Change?
The Roles of AZA Zoos in the One Health Initiative
12:00 pm to 9:00 pm Zoo Day at the Woodland Park Zoo


Friday, September 28
8:00 am to 8:45 pm SOLD OUT! Post-Conference Tour - Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (additional $75 fee)

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