Just weeks after its launch, the newly formed Association of Aquatic Professionals has announced plans to host its inaugural Conference & Trade Show.

The event is set for Feb. 13-16, 2012, at the Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas. It will include education, a trade show and a golf tournament, according to organizers.

“Our goal is to provide an excellent education program to aquatics professionals at a reasonable price,” said Farhad Madani, executive director of the new group and consultant with Aquatic Safety Experts, LLC, in Austin.

Program details are still being determined and proposals for speakers are currently being accepted. One thing Madani can definitely say is that it will include offerings for individuals in all sectors of the industry.

“We’re trying to create the program so it’s very inclusive,” he said. “We want to collaborate … and we plan to work with any and all organizations that want to provide certifications and education.”

The Association of Aquatic Professionals was founded earlier this year and now includes more than 100 members, according to Madani. He and others in the group believe it’s important to start a trade show now, to fill the void left when the National Recreation and Park Association announced its decision to merge its aquatics show into its large Congress event, held each fall. That move effectively ended the National Aquatic Conference.

“This was a decision by the board of directors,” Madani said. “NRPA is no longer going to do a conference at this time. It’s an open time, so we’re just going to continue that tradition. Our organization is new, but if you add the expertise of the board members, we have more than 100 years of experience.”

Shawn P. DeRosa, president of DeRosa Aquatic Consulting and manager of aquatic facilities at Penn State University in State College, Pa., is serving as AAP conference chairman.

“I hope that after the conference, our attendees will return to their facilities invigorated about their jobs, better connected with a network of professionals and industry suppliers, and with a renewed appreciation of the importance of water safety education, drowning prevention, and the benefits of aquatic recreation and therapy,” DeRosa said.

Future events are scheduled at the same Austin location in 2013 and 2014.