Educational Congress Press Release

2015 Historic Educational Congress a Success!

Click the following link to view the information in a pdf: ED Congress 2015 Press Release

The Alliance for Massage Therapy Education and the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation (COMTA) are pleased to announce that the 2015 Educational Congress was a great success! This biennial event brought together about 215 people, including leaders from all of the major stakeholder organizations (Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, American Massage Therapy Association, Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation, Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards, Massage Therapy Foundation, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and the Alliance), as well as professional leaders from the field of massage and bodywork education (Academic Consortium of Complementary and Alternative health Care, American Organization for Bodywork Therapies of Asia, and Society for Oncology Massage). This unique gathering was the largest U.S. educator’s conference in the massage and bodywork profession.

The congress was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota on the University of Minnesota campus from July 23-25, 2015. Several organizations planned their own organizational meetings for the days before or immediately after the Congress. An Industry Panel provided the audience with the opportunity to ask questions and state concerns. It sparked a lot of conversations that continued throughout the event. The first of any Massage Education Event to be lived-streamed, see the replay here. Breakout sessions covered a wide range of topics for educational and administrative professionals click this link to Review all Breakout sessions.

The purpose of the Educational Congress was to foster collaboration between all of the attendees; this was accomplished not just by the panel and the participants but by the presentations and attendees. The event stimulated networking opportunities, encouraged questions for further investigation, and supported needed social interaction with peers. Nancy Dail, Conference Planning Chair: “ I would personally like to thank all of the presenters and moderators that participated in this event. The wide variety of presenters gave valuable information to administrators and owners of schools, faculty, and to CE Providers. The profession at large is lucky to have so many experienced and knowledgeable teachers and authors willing to share their information.”

Dawn Hogue: “I was very honored to represent COMTA on the industry stakeholder panel and heard from so many people how much they appreciated being informed about the various activities of each organization. Having everyone together, sharing in community and camaraderie was truly remarkable and inspiring!”

Attendees reported a variety of feedback including:

“Mutual respect and cooperation of participating organizations made this a remarkable event for the attendees and more broadly our profession. This will be my primary event…highest benefit for time and money…most information gained and contacts made.”

“The importance of this conference was like throwing a pebble into water. It certainly has already generated a very positive ripple effect that will continue to move our passionate industry forward!”


“This congress was truly a coalition, a meeting of the many people and organizations that are passionate about the future of our profession. This type of collaboration will ensure our success and growth far beyond a bunch of separate, competing entities. Kudos to everyone who came together to share our common vision and to work together to manifest this vision.”

Additional interviews during Educational Congress by Ryan Hoyme, aka the MassageNerd, are available here: MassageNerd Interviews.

In keeping with their goal of incorporating more technology, this was the first time the Alliance used an event app from Whova. It was a great way to connect and have fun with other attendees before, during, and after the Congress!

Pete Whitridge, AFMTE Immediate Past President: “I’m so glad we could provide a location for many groups to meet at the same time! This provided many opportunities to people to meet face to face, ask questions, and to see that real people run these very important organizations.”

The next Educational Congress will be held in Tucson, Arizona, July 27-29, 2017 at the beautiful Hilton El Conquistador resort, nestled on 500 acres in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains. Please check the AFMTE website this Autumn for more details.

Kate Zulaski, COMTA Executive Director: “Of all the conferences I attend, the AFMTE events consistently draw the most inspiring colleagues. I am so glad that the AFMTE welcomed COMTA as a co-sponsor for the first Educational Congress! The desire for collaboration, to solve problems in the field, and to nurture massage and bodywork education into our next collective phase was palpable. At one point, I saw a group of people who were instrumental in creating COMTA, the MTF, and the NCBTMB, all in one group together. My heart nearly burst with excitement at the feeling of honoring their work while we simultaneously move into the future. I can’t wait for the next Educational Congress!”

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