ATD Blog

We’re Getting Ready for ATD21. Are You?

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Apryl Savino at Salt lake City Convention Center
We interviewed Apryl Alexander-Savino, CMP, CAE, DES, ATD’s director of conferences and events, to gain some insight into how ATD21 is shaping up. Here’s what Apryl had to say.

ATD21 Is Almost Here

I can’t believe we’re only three months away! With ATD21 taking place in August this year, we’ve had more time to plan, but we’re building a completely new experience, so we are using every extra minute we can get. It’s surreal to think it’s almost here, after a year and a half of dreaming about it.

How Are Things Going to Be Different at ATD21 Than in Past Years?

The past year has forced us to approach things from a different perspective. We are building an experience that relies on making every attendee feel comfortable while still having a fun and exciting learning experience.

We will have health protocols in place for all attendees, including physical distancing, regular sitewide cleaning, and onsite medical staff. To eliminate long lines and crowding—a headache for attendees even in regular years—we are introducing new processes like print-at-home badges and advance session registration so your entire schedule can be built out before you even step onsite.


This is mostly behind-the-scenes work. Actually, you’d be surprised at how many things will be the same for attendees. Many staples of the ATD experience will be there—meet-and-greets with popular authors, a career center and headshot lounge, plenty of networking opportunities. The EXPO floor will still be there, with hundreds of providers ready to talk—but with larger aisles and more room to move around, it won’t feel so packed. And new this year, we’re opening the Quad in the main hall, where attendees can come chill with their peers and destress with some games. I’m most excited about our new TD for Good campaign. This campaign will provide community service opportunities so attendees can spread joy to hospitals and assisted care facilities in the Salt Lake City area.

And of course, we have our ATD @Home and Regional options for anyone who isn’t able to make it to Salt Lake City. I believe these new ways of gathering will become more of the norm in the future, making it possible for larger groups to connect in more intimate ways than ever before. I, for one, am excited to see this come to life in the conference world.

What Should Someone Consider When Deciding to Attend?

We understand that this year is unlike any other when considering a conference. There are so many things to consider—many people want to travel to be with family; or don’t have the budget to attend a larger event; or don’t quite feel comfortable traveling yet. We understand. We created our @Home and Regional events so that nobody would feel excluded from this experience.


However, if you are ready to come back together, we are so excited to host you! We are working tirelessly to make it the experience that you’ve been wishing for over the past year. I can’t wait to open those doors on day one and welcome back one of the most fun and energetic groups of attendees I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

What Is Your Favorite Part About Working on the ATD International Conference & EXPO?

We dream big! When ATD has a goal, the international conference is the place we bring it to life. Whether that’s big-name keynotes or impactful networking events, we are never afraid to do what it takes to deliver a better experience to our community year after year.

Visit our official ATD21 website to learn more about ATD21. Learn about Apryl and what she’s looking forward to most at ATD21 by reading her Meet the Team profile.

About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

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