Idea’s President, Darren Fox, recently attended the 2018 IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference at the Hilton Chicago, where he was one of three judges for the conference’s Agency Showcase Competition. 

The Soaring to New Heights Conference is hosted by the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA), and is the “premier state conference for parks and recreation, forest preserves and conservation agencies in Illinois.” Over 4,000 industry professionals and officials came together to attend workshops and educational sessions, network, and showcase their latest products and services. The main part of the conference was the expo, which was in three large exhibit halls and featured over 300 booths from members of the parks and recreation industry, from playground manufacturers and equipment providers, to landscapers and water parks.

According to the IL Parks Conference website, the Agency Showcase Competition is “the premier communications and marketing competition for park and recreation agencies.” Participants submitted their communication and marketing materials for judging.

Along with two other judges, Darren was in charge of judging the Print Communications category of the competition, where print marketing materials were judged on creativity, content, and branding. There were around 40 entries, and Darren drew on his years of experience in design and marketing to judge each piece. 

I was honored to be involved in the conference and enjoyed networking, judging, and learning more about the parks and recreation industry. I was blown away by the creativity I saw and hope to be invited again next year.
– Darren Fox, President, Idea Marketing Group