AAP National Conference & Exhibition meetings blend tradition, novelty
- Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics
When the first AAP annual meeting was held June 12-13, 1931, it drew 93 of the 304 members to Atlantic City, N.J., making it the largest U.S. pediatric meeting to date. But it would take another eight years for the meeting, now known as the National Conference & Exhibition, to be held independent of American Medical Association conferences.
Since then, attendance has grown along with membership.
More than 16 U.S. cities have hosted the gatherings over the past 82 years, with Chicago the most frequent venue.
Due to World War II, the AAP annual meetings were cancelled in 1943 and 1945.
The first decade of meetings saw the rapid addition of features such as roundtable and panel discussions as well as commercial exhibits. In recent years, activities have included a pre-conference “Pediatrics for the 21st Century” educational session, a local volunteer service project called Community Cares and a 5K fun run/walk to benefit the AAP Friends of Children fund.
This year, point-counterpoint sessions debuted, while another tradition, the pediatric bowl, was renamed the James W. Bass Pediatric Bowl in honor of the luminary in military pediatrics. And for the first time in 2013, AAP members could hear presentations by the two president-elect candidates and cast their vote at the meeting.
Planning for the national conference begins 18 months in advance, with the educational sessions secured 15 months ahead. Faculty are confirmed a year before a meeting.
The 2013 meeting held in October in Orlando, Fla., drew record attendance, at more than 15,400 (see page 13). It also marked the first time in that location and attracted 1,896 international attendees, more than any previous annual meeting.