Annual Conference Guide for Salt Lake City

HAPS is an inclusive organization, and that inclusiveness is a hallmark of the annual conference.  First-timers are welcomed, celebrated and treated well.  We try to make sure that first-timers always have a friend and never eat alone!  Second-timers also get their own special breakfast as a welcome back.

For 2017, the HAPS Annual Conference runs from Wednesday evening through Sunday afternoon.  Our Board of Directors and Steering Committee Chairs arrives a day or two early to take care of business and ensure everything is ready for the conference.

The Annual Conference is divided into two major sections:  

  • The Update Seminar Speakers portion of the conference consists of presentations by leading researchers and experts and includes break times to meet with vendors and view their exhibits. This part of the Annual Conference takes place at the Salt Palace Convention Center.  

  • The Workshops portion are concurrent presentations by fellow faculty or vendors to enhance the teaching of human anatomy and physiology. These take place at the University of Utah.  The transportation is covered as part of the conference fee.

In addition to a conference booklet (that lists the activities of the entire conference), HAPS also provides a smartphone Conference App (free download for iOS and Android operating systems, including tablets).  The conference app is available now, so download it and check out all the features. 


  • For 2017 the annual conferences begins on Wednesday night with a Welcome Reception, from 7-9p (this allows most people to schedule their incoming flights and travel for earlier that day).  All registered members and registered guests are invited to the reception.  

  • Thursday morning starts with a First-Timers Breakfast at 7:30a.  The breakfast is free to first-timers, but you must register in advance so we can determine proper menu count.  The breakfast brings first-timers together at tables with other first timers and a president-emeritus of the organization, to learn more about HAPS and fun opportunities.  There is also a Second-Timers Breakfast. in which all returning HAPS Annual attendees are invited to eat with Steering Committee chairs.

  • Following the breakfast, the first day of Update Seminar Speakers series begins with the first speaker and the conference exhibit hall fills with participants.  There are seven Update Speakers who give their talks on Thursday and Friday.  The organizing committee for each year’s conference decides on the theme and this year's is the Evolutionary and Developmental Basis of Anatomy and Physiology.

  • Between the Update Speakers talks are opportunities to see Poster Sessions presented by fellow HAPS members on their research and/or innovations in teaching in A&P and visit with the exhibitors.  The exhibitors are a real benefit of a HAPS annual meeting - they bring items of particular interest to HAPS teaching-focused membership.  

  • Thursday night is left open for members to plan their own activities, or to just get some rest after a full day of activities.  If you are not sure what to do, ask a board member or steering committee chair - they will be wearing HAPS bullseye logos to make them easy to spot.  We are all here to help!

  • Friday morning starts early at 7a with a Fun Run that serves as a fundraiser for the HAPS Foundation.  The Foundation provides an array of scholarships and fellowships to HAPS members (including some to defray the cost of attending the annual conference).  It is a good cause and lots of fun, so set your alarm and come on out.

  • Friday after the fun run (and with plenty of time to shower and change), HAPS holds its Annual General Membership Meeting.  The meeting is important for HAPS organizational business, and typically involves updates on the major initiatives as well as membership votes on changes to the bylaws.  All members are encouraged to attend and participate.  Once the annual business meeting concludes, we continue with a second day of Update Speakers and Poster sessions.   

  • Friday afternoon the door prizes, raffle winners, and other fun giveaways signal the end of the first phase of the annual meeting.  There is a HAPS Social (including drinks and plentiful appetizers) on Friday evening from 6-9p.  Again, the Social is included in the conference fee and all registered participants are encouraged to attend.


Saturday through midday Sunday will be 60- and 90-minute workshops at the University of Utah.  There will be more than 120 workshops in two days!  Buses run all day, but most people go over between 7-8 am and return at 4 pm on Saturday.  On Sunday we have the same early start, but end earlier in the afternoon.