2017 Schedule

Urban Float

Schedule Overview

Thursday, Aug. 10

Workshop Registration: 8am – 8:45am
Start a Center Workshop (Day 1): 9am – 6:30pm

Friday, Aug. 11

Start a Center Workshop (Day 2): 8am – 12pm
Friday Activities: 9am – 8pm
Welcome Party: 7:30pm

Saturday, Aug. 12

Conference Registration: 8am – 8:45am
Float Conference (Day 1): 9am – 7pm
Conference Reception: 7:30pm

Sunday, Aug. 13

Float Conference (Day 2): 10am – 5:30pm

Monday, Aug. 14

Certified Pool/Spa Operator Training: 9am – 6pm

Detailed Schedule

Aug 10Thursday

8:00 AM – 8:45 AM

Workshop Registration

Come early to get checked in.

No need to bring a ticket. If you registered for the Workshop ticket online, we have you on our list :)

9:00 AM

The How to Start a Float Center Workshop Begins!

with Ashkahn Jahromi, Graham Talley, and Jake Marty

For Workshop Guests Only

The How to Start a Float Center Workshop is an intensive training course, covering everything you need to know to start and run your float business.

This workshop is the information we would have loved to know when we started our center, Float On, in 2010. We will be covering everything from float tank maintenance, to float center construction, to float-specific marketing techniques that have worked for us.

See the details for the Workshop >>

9:00 AM

Shop Logistics and Operations

Float schedule, flow of a customer, cleaning schedule, software…

10:40 AM


11:10 AM

Float Sanitation

Epsom salt, different types of float tanks, filtration systems, different solution treeatment systems, tank chemistry, testing, regulations and certifications…

12:50 PM

Tom Taber

Healing with Business
Sponsored Talk

Every action in your business can be a healing act for yourself and others – the way you interact with employees, the way you design your daily operating procedures, the way you market, the way you treat and deal with customers, the way you interact with competitors, and most importantly, the way you resolve the inevitable conflicts that arise in any growing business. In those moments of conflict, business owners can ask: How can I find a solution that’s fair and that reflects gratitude rather than scarcity?

1:00 PM


Float Booth

A catered lunch will be provided.

A special thanks to Float Booth for helping make this lunch possible!

2:30 PM


Choosing a location, laying out your ideal space, choosing contractors, soundproofing…

4:10 PM


4:40 PM

Construction Continues

Water/salt proofing, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, ADA requirements and improvements…

6:30 PM

End of Day 1 of the Workshop

Aug 11Friday

8:00 AM

Day 2 of the How to Start a Float Center Workshop Begins!

8:00 AM

Business Planning and Finances

Business basics, timeline to opening, buildout finances, typical monthly profit & loss…

9:40 AM

Kyle Stremme

How to Be Fully Booked before You Open
Sponsored Talk

Kyle Stremme, a small business digital marketing retention expert, will be speaking about how to launch your float center with pre paid floats. He will be sharing experience he has gained through 3,000+ conversations he has had with small business owners and strategies that work to get your float center in the black sooner so it can focus on retention and memberships. He works as a sales advisor for start up software companies who specialize in small business growth. In addition he works for www.FetchRev.com, a small business revenue retention software.

9:50 AM


10:20 AM

Marketing and Outreach

Target markets, pricing, PR, running a daily deal, special programs and internships…

12:00 PM

End of the How to Start a Float Center Workshop

12:00 PM



A catered lunch will be provided.

Special thanks to FetchRev for helping make this lunch possible!

9:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Friday Activities Begin!

Open to Everyone

The Friday Activities are a series of float community organized events.

There’s a wide range of activities to choose from, including a bus tour of Portland’s float centers, a marketing forum, technical demonstrations, the first ever Floatlympics, and more!

View the activities (and sign up) here!

Friday Welcome Party

Float Fuel

Come join us for a get together at the World Trade Center. See old friends and meet new ones after a day of Friday Activities. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Thank you to Float Fuel for helping make this party possible!

Aug 12Saturday

Float Conference

Conference Registration

If you didn’t attend the How to Start a Float Center Workshop or the Friday Activities, come early to get signed in for the conference.

There’s no need to bring a ticket. If you registered online, you’ll be on our list :)

9:00 AM

The Conference Begins!

The Conference kicks off with a world of revelries! Rows 1-15 are in the splash zone, and will be provided with complimentary rain ponchos.

9:00 AM

Opening Words

by Ashkahn Jahromi

9:15 AM

Ricardo Gil-da-Costa

Blue Minds: Floating beyond novelty

Dr. Ricardo Gil-da-Costa is a founder and CEO of Neuroverse, Inc., a company that makes wireless, waterproof EEG headsets that are being used to measure EEG brainwaves at the LIBR lab. As Neuroverse continues the development and expansion of the BrainStation system, a brain interface for everyday life, in collaboration with multiple partners they are exploring a “blue minds program” to integrate floating into translational applications. Ricardo will discuss possible strategies for incorporating floating into everyday life as part of therapeutic and/or mental training programs, and he will share the latest technology and research developments of brain activity (EEG) assessments during floating in collaborative projects with Dr. Feinstein at the LIBR and Jim Hefner at the Just Float center.

9:50 AM

Nick Dunin

‘Floating Fad Movement’ to the ‘Floating Therapy Movement’

Nick will share the power of “Authentic Marketing” vs. “Trickery Marketing,” while also offering a strategic way to look at growth, rather than being caught up in the tactical nature of business.

He will talk about the power of building relationships that last, as he shares the key fundamentals of ‘Experience Marketing’ to defining your brand energy, vision and purpose of your business. Ultimately to create a culture that is at the epicentre of your growth.

10:25 AM


Q&A sessions with Ricardo and Nick will be held on the top floor during this break.

10:55 AM

Jason MacDonald

Suspended Disbelief: Why do public health officials still think floatation is risky?

In recent years, public health officials have become increasingly interested in floatation. A lack of peer-reviewed evidence around floatation has led health officials to grasp at comparisons to other recreational water activities in order to help understand risks to the public. Jason MacDonald is a health regulator from Canada with a keen interest in understanding float tank rules and policies. He will attempt to provide an overview of the broad, and sometimes curious, landscape of evidence that has been considered by public health officials in their honest pursuit to do the right thing. He will also discuss the difference between a potential hazard and an actual risk; an important but muted consideration in these interesting times.

11:25 AM

Glenn & Lee Perry

Beingness and Nothing

The search goes on to examine the possibilities humans can achieve through floating.

11:50 AM

Colin Stanwell-Smith & Peter Marsh

A Launch a Minute
Sponsored Talk

Colin Stanwell-Smith of Floataway, makers of the largest range of float tanks in the world, and Peter Marsh, float expert, will introduce several new products and launch two new USA companies, FloatawayUSA LLC and PopUpFloat LLC, both based in Tulsa OK where Floataway designed the research pools at LIBR. Floataway has been making float tanks since 1999. Peter has been a float center owner and operator since well before that. Together they have developed a new range of inflatable pools to open up new markets. Several unique products will be launched.

12:05 PM


Q&A sessions with Jason, Glenn & Lee, and Colin & Peter will be held on the top floor at the beginning of this lunch.

We’ve got a special treat in line for Saturday’s lunch!

The Portland Farmer’s Market is world famous, and is easily one of Portland’s main attractions during the summertime. And it takes place right down the street from the conference!

Each conference attendee will be given Farmer’s Market tokens which they can use to get food from any of the stands.

With over 200 vendors of everything from local produce to delicious hot food, this is bound to be a meal you won’t soon forget.

California Float Concepts

Special thanks to California Float Concepts for helping make this lunch possible!

2:05 PM

Justin Feinstein

Float Away Anxiety

Dr. Feinstein is Director of the Float Clinic & Research Center (FCRC) at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. The FCRC’s mission is to investigate the effects of Floatation-REST on both body and brain, as well as explore its potential as a therapeutic treatment for promoting mental health and healing.

Anxiety and depression are the two most common psychiatric conditions, affecting over a quarter of the population, and representing the leading cause of disability, worldwide. Recent meta-analyses and large-scale clinical trials suggest that only about 50% of patients improve with treatment, with substantially poorer outcomes and adherence in patients with comorbid anxiety and depression. Given the poor treatment response and adherence to currently available therapies, it is imperative to explore new ways of helping individuals with anxiety and depression.

This presentation will unveil the results from the first float study ever conducted in a large group of patients spanning the spectrum of different anxiety and stress-related disorders, including PTSD, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and Generalized Anxiety, with many cases also experiencing comorbid unipolar depression. The findings will detail the clinical and physiological changes induced by the float experience, along with a discussion about safety considerations with this population.

3:20 PM


A Q&A session with Justin will be held on the top floor during this break.

3:50 PM

Logan Skees

Translating the Float Tank Experience for Combat Veterans – a Young Marine’s Perspective
Voted in Speaker!

A compelling testimony from a young Marine who overcame the stresses of war, the transition home, and now serves to empower other military veterans through Trainerspace, a revolutionary new fitness center in South Florida.

4:05 PM

Sahib Khalsa

Floating and Eating Disorders

Sahib will be presenting the results from a recently completed LIBR clinical trial examining how floating effects people with eating disorders. This is the first study to systematically examine floating in individuals with a current or previous history of anorexia nervosa, a psychiatric disorder known to have a high burden of illness and low response to treatment. Given the lack of previous knowledge in this area, his talk will emphasize findings related mainly to the safety and tolerability of floating in this population, and will also explore preliminary insights related to the impact of floating on clinically relevant symptoms.

4:45 PM


Q&A sessions with Logan and Sahib will be held on the top floor during this break.

5:15 PM

Duncan Trussell & Christopher Ryan

Live Podcast with Duncan Trussell & Christopher Ryan

Duncan Trussell will host a live recording of The Duncan Trussell Family Hour Podcast with guest, Chris Ryan, author of Sex at Dawn and host of the Tangentially Speaking podcast.

7:00 PM

End of Day 1 of the Float Conference

7:30 PM

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
1945 SE Water Ave
Portland, OR 97214

Buses to and from OMSI will be taking off from the Newmark

Conference Reception Party

We’re excited to have our big Saturday night party at OMSI, Oregon’s biggest science museum! Come enjoy delicious food and drink while touring their awesome exhibits and playing with their hands on science experiments. You can even tour a giant submarine!

OMSI is just over the river from the Newmark Theatre and the Hilton. You can catch shuttle buses to the party leaving from in front of the Newmark throughout the night.

A special thank you to Urban Float for making this reception possible!

Urban Float / I-sopod
Aug 13Sunday

10:00 AM

Day 2 of the Float Conference Begins

10:00 AM

Stephen Johnson

Cognition, Coherence, and Compassion: Further Explorations of Connectedness

Speculations, musings, and questions designed to pierce the ‘veil of culture’ from a “Float Contemplative.” Creating a line of inquiry through physics, biology, philosophy, theology, poetics, and the interface of sense and non-sense. Hopefully, helping to create a weaving of caring and hope.

10:15 AM

Lydia Caldwell

Acute Flotation Therapy and the Stress Response: Implications for the Elite Athletes and Military Operator

The intense physical demands placed on an elite athlete or military operator can result in a state of chronic stress, contributing to decreased performance and greater susceptibility to illness and injury. Whether the battlefield or the football field, maintaining peak performance is of utmost importance for mission success. Therefore, there is a critical need to identify recovery interventions that mitigate the stress response and improve an individual’s overall readiness to perform.

Flotation therapy is an attractive recovery intervention due to its ability to target multiple physiologic systems simultaneously. Preliminary research tracking recovery biometrics (HRV, cortisol) in collegiate athletes appears promising. The Air Force looks forward to expanding its research endeavors in the upcoming year to further investigate the potential of flotation therapy in high performance populations.

10:45 AM

Bob Mangine

Utilization of Sensor and Biomarker Systems to Evaluate Athletic Performance Recovery

The objective of the presentation will be to describe the influence of the float system on various recovery markers and models as they relate to the physical and mental recovery of athletic performance. Over the past two seasons, the Air Force STRONG program and the University of Cincinnati Sports Medicine Department have collaborated to evaluate sensor technology and blood biomarkers to determine the effectiveness of float technology for recovery in various athlete models. We will describe the intervention in three student athlete recovery environments, demonstrating positive changes in both physical and mental levels of recovery.

11:15 AM


Q&A sessions with Stephen, and Lydia & Bob will be held on the top floor during this break.

11:45 AM

Graham Talley & Ashkahn Jahromi

Why it’s (adjective) to Give up Control

Join Graham, and Ashkahn for a (adjective) adventure into the complex and (adjective) world of creating a business that (verb ending in s) itself. With too little structure, things quickly (verb) apart. With too many policies and procedures, your (noun) becomes slow and inflexible.

12:20 PM

Funny Float Stories

A handfull of float center owners will hop on stage and share ridiculous stories from their shops.

12:45 PM

James Ramsey

A word from Superior Float Tanks
Sponsored Talk

James Ramsey from Superior will hop on stage to show a video of what they’ve been up to.

1:00 PM


You’ve heard all about the great Portland food, including our famous food carts. We’ve wrangled some of the best food carts in town to come cater a lunch just for you.

Lunch will be served in the park, next to the Newmark. Show up with your conference badge, and the food’s on us :)

At Peace Float Cabins

Special thanks to At Peace Float Cabins for helping make this lunch possible!

3:00 PM

Sandeep Prakash

Floating to Wholeness: A Jungian Approach to Psycho-Spiritual Transformation in the Tank
Voted in Speaker!

Floating is coming of age right when society is reaching its breaking point and seems to need it the most. Floating might just pull off the band-aids covering our psychological wounds, but are we prepared for this Rite of Passage of our times? We’ll look at the mythic dimension of floating, trauma, and the journey to wholeness from a Jungian perspective. Sandeep will share how floaters and float center owners can hold space for difficult experiences and psycho-spiritual transformation.

He’ll also share preliminary findings from his research on the phenomenology of healing emotional trauma through floating. Floating may provide a deeply subjective, individual journey from being soul-lost to soul-full. While the float industry is facing pressure to produce evidence that floating treats specific problems and symptoms, Sandeep’s research suggests that over-medicalizing floating distracts from the lived experience of healing. We’ll see how a rich, imagistic inner life can help a person that suffers from trauma.

3:20 PM

Obada Al Zoubi

Using Advanced Methods to Measure the Effect of Floating in the Brain and Body

Obada has played a vital role in developing advanced analytical techniques for examining physiological and functional neuroimaging data collected during Floatation-REST experiments. In this talk he will discuss recent efforts to measure heart rate variability during the float experience, as well as present new fMRI findings showing how brain connectivity is altered by floating using a technique known as MDMR.

3:50 PM


Q&A sessions with Sandeep and Obada will be held on the top floor during this break.

4:20 PM

David Vobora

Accessing the Supreme Self

Retired NFL Linebacker, David Vobora, specializes in human performance training that also inspires and motivates his clients to higher levels of achievement and fulfillment in service to others.

As the owner of Performance Vault and founder of the non-profit Adaptive Training Foundation, David works with athletes of all types – professional, Olympic, collegiate, tactical forces and, especially, those with severe disabilities, including many military veterans, but also victims of catastrophic injuries and illnesses.

David has been integrating floating into his Adaptive Training technique by bringing his clients into float during their training program, and will be coming to the conference to share the incredible results he’s been seeing.

5:00 PM

Closing Words

by Graham Talley

5:15 PM

Thank You’s

5:30 PM

End of the 2017 Float Conference

Q&A session with David will be held on the top floor right when the conference concludes.

Aug 14Monday

CPO Training Begins!

with Jake Marty

For CPO Sign Ups Only

The Certified Pool/Spa Operator training course is a certification given by the National Swimming Pool Foundation. It is not unusual to see regulations for commercial pools and spas that require a certified staff member on hand, and the CPO certification is the most widely recognized certification of its kind around the world.

The information in this course is geared towards the pool and spa industry, and as such, it is a great way to learn the language that your health department speaks. However, this particular CPO course is unique in that it is being taught by Jake Marty, one of the owners of Float On, who will help put the information into the context of running a float center.

This course is perfect for people with existing float centers, and for those who are in the planning stages. It is a fusion course, and requires completion of an online portion before coming to this event.

Read more about (and sign up for) the CPO training course here!

6:00 PM

CPO Training Ends