Annual Conference Guide


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!

For 2020, the HAPS Annual Conference runs from Saturday evening through Wednesday 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 host hotel. 

  • The Workshops portion are concurrent presentations by fellow faculty or vendors to enhance the teaching of human anatomy and physiology. These take place at a local college or university and usually involve transportation from the host hotel to the university or college.  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 lists all talks and activities, has a running ticker of the HAPS twitter feed, and provides live updates during the conference itself.


  • Annual conferences begin on Saturday night with a Welcome Reception at 6 pm.  All registered members and registered guests are invited to the reception.  

  • Sunday morning starts with a First-Timers Breakfast at 7:30 am.  The breakfast is free to first-timers, but you must register in advance so we can determine proper head 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 exclusively for first-timers.  Second-timers also have a special breakfast hosted by the 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 typically six or seven Update Speakers who give their talks on Sunday and Monday.  The organizing committee for each year’s conference decides on the themes to be addressed by the Update Speakers - some years the talks are all on the same general topic, other years they span an array of topics.

  • 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 in particular are a real benefit of a HAPS annual meeting - they bring items of particular interest to HAPS teaching-focused membership.  

  • Sunday night is typically 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 member - they will be wearing HAPS logos to make them easy to spot.  We are all here to help!

  • Monday morning begins with the 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.   

  • Monday afternoon the door prizes, raffle winners, and other fun giveaways signal the end of the first phase of the annual meeting.  There typically is a HAPS Social (including drinks and plentiful appetizers) on Monday evening.  Again, the Social is included in the conference fee and all registrants are encouraged to attend.


  • Tuesday and Wednesday we will board buses for transport to the host school for the workshops portion of the conference. There are over 120 workshops to choose from, so be ready for some hard choices!
  • Wednesday workshops end by 3 pm so that people can finally get some rest and can catch afternoon flights home.