2024 OWAA Annual Conference: Sept. 20-22, 2024 – El Paso, Texas

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining us for our 2024 Conference in El Paso, Texas, Sept. 20-22, 2024! Please plan to join us in order to  further your professional skills and/or business opportunities. 

Outdoor media and other professionals will attend OWAA’s annual conference to connect, mingle and learn from more than 250 outdoor storytellers – and the brands that support their work. They will network with other professionals, hone communications skills, find a mentor/mentee and discover more and better ways to sell their work or promote their brand.

Conference attendees will meet with some of the best outdoor communicators in the country and absorb presentations on writing and editing, photography and videography, broadcast and digital media, the latest tech and newest tactics, and more. They’ll develop field craft and test the latest innovations during an off-site breakout day. Delegates will also join pre- and post-tours (in New Mexico, west Texas and the state of Chihuahua) to get the latest story on (and shots of) outdoor adventures in the region, be it hiking, climbing, hunting or other outdoor pursuits.

Registration will give you access to:

  • All keynote and breakout sessions, including the always popular ‘Meet the Editors’ panel
  • Three meals/day (nine total), including the honorary awards banquet and even more compelling speakers
  • Two 3-hour ‘deep dive’ workshops to further your skillset
  • All breakout day activities (gear demos and more)
  • Hospitality events (which generally include adult beverages and light snacks/appetizers)
  • Unique events like the fun run, photo scavenger hunt, membership meeting, and storytelling night
  • Optional pre- and post-tour options in west Texas, New Mexico and the state of Chihuahua

Our hotel will be the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel El Paso Downtown. Sessions and events will take place in the El Paso Convention Center.

Call for Speakers

Know a great speaker or workshop instructor? We’d love to hear about them (especially if they’re from underrepresented outdoor communities such as BIPOC peoples, persons with a disability, LGBTQ+ peoples, etc.)! Click on these links to learn more and check back in for when we open the call for speakers:

Call for Pre/Post Tours

Are you located in the region and interested in hosting a press tour for our members? Click on the link below to learn more and check back in for when we open the call for tour applications:

Cancellations are now covered:

Registration Insurance is now included in all registration fees, with coverage underwritten by Lloyds of London. Attendees receive a 100% refund, if they are unable to attend the event for a reason outside of their control (and because of a reason that is covered under the policy). This coverage starts on the date someone registers and ends on the first day of the show. Click here to see the claims website and then click on the tab ‘Policy Terms & Conditions’ to see what is covered.

Note too that traveling and attending events with a large number of attendees places individuals at risk (such as pandemics). Attendees who participate in person will be participating at their own risk.

Have any other questions? Reach out to info@owaa.org.

Traveler Information

When: Friday, September 20 through Sunday, 22, 2024

Where: El Paso Convention Center (Judson F. Williams Convention Center)

Official Conference Hotel: Doubletree by Hilton Hotel El Paso Downtown
Doubletree Hilton
600 N. El Paso St.

Special OWAA Conference rate of $139.00 for attendees. Booking Link.

Arriving in El Paso, Texas: Fly into El Paso International Airport (ELP). Daily flights on major carriers to/from including Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and United Airlines. (Note that if you are a media member and sign up for a pre- or post-tour, you MAY have to fly into or out of another airport, based on the distance of the destination from El Paso.)

Airport/Hotel Shuttles:
More information is coming soon.

Passports REQUIRED: While the Conference is being held in El Paso, Texas, there are plans to have one night where we cross into Juarez, Mexico for an evening of entertainment and fun. Thus, ALL attendees, including U.S. Citizens, are required to bring their passports if they would like to enjoy this excursion to Mexico. Not attending this night is up to each individual attendee but there will not be any other official event options that evening.

Climate: El Paso is a high desert environment but temperatures in September could be cool, with an average high in the high-80’s and an average low in the mid-60’s degrees Fahrenheit. As this is a desert, the nights cool dramatically from daytime highs. Always be sure to stay hydrated and keep a water bottle with you throughout the day – especially on tours. There are more than 300 days of sunny weather a year in El Paso!

Attire: Please bring comfortable walking shoes. For the pre- and post-conference tours we recommend casual attire but refer to the individual itineraries for specific apparel suggestions. For the conference we suggest business-casual attire.

Time Zone: During the Conference, El Paso will be in Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

Packing List: Be sure to bring layers and a light jacket. For active events, we encourage you to bring close-toed walking shoes, a water bottle, a backpack or bag, sunscreen, lip balm, and perhaps some salty snacks.

Getting Around El Paso: El Paso is incredibly walkable – within the downtown, immediate to the Convention Center, you’ll find an award-winning Triple-A ballpark, art and history museums, a restored theater, stunning hotels, delicious restaurants, and memorable bars.
For rideshare apps, El Paso has Uber, Lyft and Andale Ride. Public transit is the El Paso Streetcar connecting the Convention center campus to downtown hotels and attractions.



What type of security is planned for OWAA in Mexico?

South of the Border Evening – A police escort will be provided for the buses and dedicated security will be at the venue that evening. They are going to provide a special bus line, allowing exclusive access for OWAA’s buses to Mexico in order to expedite crossing and make it as smooth as possible (don’t forget your passport and bring your Global Entry card too, if you have one)!

What is El Paso’s population size?

El Paso proper is home to 683,577 persons. The larger metropolitan area, covering all of Hudspeth and El Paso counties, has a population of 837,000 while the El Paso-Las Cruces CSA has a population of 1.05 million (2019). Sister city Ciudad Juárez, in Chihuahua, Mexico, has a population of 1,398,400 (2014).

Is El Paso safe?

El Paso is the 4th safest metro city in America according to a 2023 report in Forbes, thanks in part to the large number of federal agencies that patrol the border.

Where can I find story ideas?

General story ideas can be found at https://visitelpaso.com/ while some fun and inspiring facts are noted below. To discuss more in-depth story angles please reach out to Trinity Smith at tssmith@destinationelpaso.com.

Fun Facts about El Paso:

  • El Paso county is the only part of Texas to be in the Mountain Time zone
  • Located south of Albuquerque, El Paso is closer to San Diego than it is to Houston
  • 81% of the population is Hispanic
  • It is the cowboy boot-making capital of the world
  • The city is regularly listed within the top safest cities in the U.S.
  • While there is no concrete study found specific to this subject, locals estimate that some 60% of the city are ESL speakers (there are 45,000 English language learners in the county’s school system alone)
  • The local US Army base Fort Bliss is about 1,700 square miles (by contrast the STATE of Rhode Island is a mere 1,212 sq miles) and is the largest installation in United States Army Forces Command, but only the second-largest in the Army overall (the largest being the adjacent White Sands Missile Range)
  • Their economy is more closely tied to the Mexican city of Juarez than anywhere else, and locals from Juarez are frequent, if not daily, shoppers at local malls, restaurants, etc. on the US side.
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