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The Management/Operations Staff Track will explore best practices for team operations, providing exceptional customer service, complying with risk management policies, and driving membership growth. You can expect to connect with your peers in similar roles across climbing facilities in your region. 

You should register for the Management/Operations Staff Track if you identify as:

  • Front desk, operations, or membership staff at the manager level.

You should register for the Climbing Wall Instructor Provider Certification course if:

  • You are responsible for managing and/or implementing your facility's new climber orientation procedures. 

Monday:  Workshop Day

Registration Open: 8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Facility Orientation: 8:15 AM - 8:25 AM 

Workshop: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM

The Member Experience - Your Competitive Edge

Facilitated by: Chris Stevenson

The indoor climbing industry is rapidly growing.  While growth is great, it also comes with its fair share of challenges.  One of which is a dramatic increase in competition which makes acquiring and keeping members very challenging.   The number one way to combat this is to construct an unparalleled member experience.   An amazing member experience is a powerful differentiator.  In this highly interactive workshop, learn everything there is to know about creating and sustaining the best member experience possible.  Attendees will leave inspired and motivated with a clear understanding of why this is so important as well as the tangible tips and tools to make it happen. 

Lunch (provided): 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

Workshop: 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Rope Wear and Tear Clinic

Facilitated by: Matt Andrews, Sterling

Join us for an in depth look at rope use in the gym setting. We’ll learn what goes into making ropes perform the way they do on your walls and how best to manage them to get the most life and best experience from them. What should you look for when retiring your rope? How long do ropes last? We’ll also discuss best practices for retailing ropes in your gym and ways to get the best return on your investment either on your wall or in your retail shop.

Monday Night:  Member Meetup


Tuesday:  Conference Day

Check back for updates, times and locations are subject to change. 

Morning Sessions

Opening Remarks by the CWA and Host Facility

8:30 am - 8:45 am

Keynote: Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Speaker: Chris Stevenson

8:45 am - 10:00 am

Great things happen when individuals come together for a purpose bigger than themselves. Goals are achieved.  Lives are changed. The world is a better place. In this inspiring and enlightening keynote, we explore effective ways to improve both personally and professionally, which includes discussing the habits and regimens of high level performers. From there, we learn how to take that individual greatness and mesh that seamlessly into a team environment. Attendees will leave understanding how to be the best they can be as individuals and as part of a team.  

Coffee Break: 10:00 am -10:20 am

Risk Management Discussion 

Facilitator: Jesse Williams

10:30 am - 11:45 am

Risk Management is a priority for any gym management team. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences, solutions and challenges in ensuring quality operations, engaging clients, and meeting the demands of risk management in this breakout discussion.

Lunch​ (provided): 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm

Film Screening: Adaptive, presented by Sterling

12:45 pm - 1:15 pm

Afternoon Sessions

Management/Operations Staff Roundtable

Facilitated by: Chris Stevenson

1:25 pm - 3:00 pm

Join your peers for an engaging discussion on best practices for engaging and retaining members and growing your career as indoor climbing professionals. Come with questions and be ready to solve problems collaboratively. 

Break: 3:00 pm - 3:10 pm

Peak Sponsor presentation: PETZL

3:15 pm - 3:45 pm

Supporting Sponsor presentation: MyClimb

3:50 pm - 4:20 pm

Q&A and Closing Remarks with the CWA
4:20 pm - 4:35 pm

Tuesday Night:  Happy Hour
4:35 pm - 6:00 pm


Climbing Wall Instructor Provider Certification Training

Facilitated by: Jesse Williams​

Wednesday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Gain technical certification for certifying your staff as climbing wall instructors. This certification course is ideal for front desk managers, gym managers, and operations staff in charge of facilitating new climber orientations and belay tests, and ensuring member compliance with facility requirements. 

This is a separate ticket from the Monday-Tuesday workshop and conference event and is not eligible for discounts. 

Seats are limited >>


Meet our Speakers

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Chris Stevenson

Chris is a fitness industry leader with over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. This experience ranges from personal training and group instruction, to owning and operating facilities. Chris has also been a presenter and speaker for national and international events for the last six years. He presented at the last few conferences and was one of the CWA's highest rated speakers.

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Heather Reynolds 

Heather blends her knowledge of movement, physiology, education to develop a multitude of successful climbing programs designed to engage new-to-climbers and experienced climbers of all ages. Coaching hundreds of climbers each year to connect and reconnect with their potential and inspire their climbing, helping them improve their performance. Heather has created and shares simple activities to help climbers develop.

About CWA Climbing Wall Instructor Provider Certification 


Application: Please submit an application within 72 hours of registering for this course HERE.

The CWI Provider Certification Program is designed to promote industry self-regulation and assist owner/operators of climbing facilities in training staff to a minimum, consistent standard of care. The curriculum can be easily integrated into existing staff training and professional development programs.

The CWI Certification program may not cover all necessary topics required at a particular company, program or facility. However, the program should address the basic technical competencies for climbing wall instructors regardless of venue. The primary governing document for the program is the program policy manual which discusses the structure and functioning of the program and the responsibilities of the providers.

Any person meeting the pre-requisites to become a CWI certification program provider, and who maintains appropriate membership status, may stand as a candidate for certification to be a provider and is encouraged to apply. Eligibility is determined based upon review of an application, a current résumé or curriculum vitae, references, completion of a provider course, and willingness to complete an attestation and agreement. An interview may also be required.

Prerequisites for CWI Certification program provider include:
1. Current membership in the CWA

2. 21 years of age.

3. Current first aid and CPR (American Red Cross Basic - 5.5 to 6.5 hours, or equivalent).

4. A résumé or other document showing a minimum of 200 hours of work experience as a climbing instructor, showing expertise in indoor climbing settings.

5. Climbing ability: 5.9 top rope and 5.8 lead on artificial structures.

6. Current CWA Certified Climbing Wall Instructor.* (See Below)

7. Two non-related professional references, including contact information and phone number.

8. A signed agreement and attestation on file.

9. Proof of insurance.

* If the candidate is not a current CWA Certified Climbing Wall Instructor, the candidate may complete an alternative qualification procedure documenting that the candidate meets the requirements of becoming a provider but showing a minimum of 400 hours of work experience as a climbing instructor. Exceptional and wide-ranging indoor climbing teaching experience, prior experience as an instructor or guide, or other certification will be considered as evidence of qualification.

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