Guide to the Benefits of Attending Non-Profit Aromatherapy Association Conferences and Events
Above Photo: Ron Guba answers a question for Wendy Robbins during his informative 3-hour Aromatic Medicine presentation at an Alliance of International Aromatherapists Conference
Regularly scheduled educational conferences are coordinated and held by non-profit aromatherapy associations such as the Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) and the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA).
The association conferences offer an invaluable opportunity to gain educational insights, network with aromatherapy authors, educators and professions and develop long-lasting friendships.
Typically, aromatherapy conferences are held over 2-4 days. They offer a full schedule of presentations and events covering a wide array of topics of interest to essential oil and aromatherapy professionals.
There are exceptions, but the topics tend to be advanced and are primarily of interest to those who utilize essential oils within the scope of aromatherapy or other wellness applications. The schedule and speaker bios are usually available in advance of the conference.
It's an exciting opportunity to meet, network and socialize with other aromatherapy professionals from all over the world.
The photo collage shown above showcases a small selection of the remarkable aromatherapy educators, authors and professionals that make the aromatherapy conferences such a rewarding experience.
View Names and Captions for the Photos
Benefits of Attending a Conference
- Attend multiple objective, brand-neutral essential oil presentations over the course of several days
- Receive a copy of the Conference Proceedings (the formal name for the detailed conference program) that typically includes most of the presentation slides and supplemental information for future reference
- Conferences are an excellent opportunity to meet and network with aromatherapy professionals
- Many of the conferences also feature an exhibit area where essential oil retailers and distillers, educators and publishers showcase their offerings.
- Receive continuing education credits (check with the association to confirm details)
- It's an opportunity to enjoy the region and surroundings of the conference venue
The energy, excitement and fellowship that I've experienced at the conferences is indescribable. I don't want to go into two much exacting detail of what to expect as future conferences could differ slightly given post-pandemic and other considerations for large events.
This article mentions what has been typical when attending a conference, but no two conferences are identical. Refer directly to the details offered by the association for upcoming conferences, and reach out directly to the association with any questions that you have.
In addition to the above benefits, some aromatherapy conferences also coordinate intensive workshops on the days leading up to a conference or on the days directly following a conference. For example, I attended a full-day "Essential Oil Quality Control" workshop at Rutgers University the day before the start of the 2017 AIA Conference.
The above photo shows copies of the different Conference Proceedings published by NAHA and AIA for their conferences.
Aromatherapy Workshop Opportunities
Aromatherapy Conference Volunteer Opportunities
The conferences that I have attended could not have been possible without the time and devotion of many amazing volunteers.
If you are an aromatherapy professional and enjoy the gratification and experience that comes with serving as a volunteer, considering looking into the volunteer opportunities available and upcoming conferences (please check directly with the associations for details).
Virtual and Hybrid Aromatherapy Conference Opportunities
The COVID pandemic lead to in-person conference cancelations and temporary events that were held entirely online. Since then, there are more hybrid opportunities where attendees can choose to attend in person or can stay home and attend online. Attending online is an excellent alternative if traveling is not physically or economically feasible. However, a great deal is lost by not attending in person.
Is Attending an Aromatherapy Conference the Right Decision for You?
Although attending conferences held by non-profit organizations is a wonderful educational opportunity for everyone that is seriously interested in holistic aromatherapy, the conferences are best suited for those who have an existing educational and professional foundation in aromatherapy. The conferences are also a wonderful educational opportunity for students who are currently enrolled in a reputable aromatherapy course and who are seeking to utilize essential oils within the scope of their profession (i.e. as a certified aromatherapist, medical professional or wellness practitioner).
If you are brand new to using essential oils or have very limited familiarity with aromatherapy or essential oils, you may find the conference presentations to be too advanced. Therefore, the cost of attending a conference from one of the trade associations may not be practical for you at this stage in your aromatherapy journey. Instead, I would recommend first investing in the cost of a reputable aromatherapy course.
Aromatherapy Associations and Conferences Throughout the World
As much as I would love to link to all reputable aromatherapy associations and reputable conferences located world-wide, I would not be able to effectively keep up with maintaining such a list. For information on associations outside the United States, please read AromaWeb's Guide to Non-Profit Aromatherapy Associations.
Aromatherapy Association Conferences vs. Brand Conventions
Conventions that are hosted by specific essential oil brands are also held on a regular basis. The benefits of the brand-specific conventions and the non-profit association conferences differ.
This article and the details mentioned pertain specifically to the educational conferences that are held by non-profit aromatherapy associations.