2015 Schedule

Aug 13Thursday

Workshop Registration

Come early to get signed in.

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

10:00 AM

The Float Center Workshop Begins!

by Jake Marty    Graham Talley    Ashkahn Jahromi    

For Workshop Guests Only

The Float Center Workshop is an intensive day of training, 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 Float Center Workshop >>

10:01 AM

Shop Logistics and Operations

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

11:45 AM


SFBSCA catered lunch will be provided.

A special thanks to The San Francisco Bath Salt Company for helping make this lunch possible!

1:15 PM

Float Tank Sanitation

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

2:45 PM

3:15 PM


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

4:45 PM

5:15 PM

Construction Continues

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

Aug 14Friday

9:01 AM

Business Structure and Planning

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

10:35 AM

Think Outside the Tank: Creativity in Float Center Design

Sponsored Talk

At Peace Floatation Spa, located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, offers custom floatation cabins for your new or existing business. Discover the many creative ways to customize your float center with ideas for design and integration with other complementary modalities.

10:45 AM

11:15 AM

Marketing and Outreach

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

1:01 PM


At Peace Floatation Spas

Food and snacks will be in the park right outside the conference.

Special thanks to At Peace Floatation Spas for helping us provide this!

2:00 PM

View the Friday Activities page
for specific activity locations.

Friday Activities Begin!

Open to Everyone

The Friday Activities are a series of community organized events that are all taking place during this afternoon.

There’s a wide range of activities to choose from, from a bus tour of all the different float centers in Portland, to a roundtable discussion where people can talk about issues they think are important for the float industry.

View the activities (and sign up) here!

7:00 PM

Rogue Hall
1717 SW Park Ave
Portland, OR 97201

(across the street from the conference)

Friday Welcome Party

Come join us for a casual get together at the Rogue Brewery, right across the street from where the conference is being held.

Rogue is one of the classic Oregon breweries, and their Portland location has a wide selection of their craft beers, along with a full bar and restaurant. It’s a perfect welcome to the city of Portland.

Aug 15Saturday

Conference Registration

If you didn’t attend the Float Center Workshop, 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 :)

10:00 AM

The Conference Begins!

The moment we’ve all been waiting for! A grand procession will lead us all into the theater, complete with fire spinners, elephants, and a choreographed tight flying fighter jet show.

10:01 AM

10:15 AM

Recent Research in Flotation REST: Continuity and Departure

by Dr. Peter Suedfeld    

During the 1970s and ’80s, REST conferences and publications reported dozens of studies and examples of the beneficial effects of flotation in a wide variety of contexts, such as creativity, autobiographical memory, athletic performance, stress-related symptoms, chronic pain, among others. Objective reviewers of the field agreed that these reports were promising, but criticized the shortage of studies using adequate sample sizes, proper controls, and systematic data collection and analysis.

The upsurge in flotation for self-exploration and recreation has been accompanied by new research. This presentation summarizes how that research has built upon, and how it has departed from, the earlier body of work, and to what extent it has satisfied the earlier critiques.

10:35 AM

Oceanic Senses and Float Tanks

James Nestor is a journalist, author, and avid floater who has explored both float tanks and John Lilly in his 2014 book, DEEP: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us about Ourselves (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

In recent years, researchers have discovered that humans share many of the “extra senses” of oceanic animals — magnetoreception, echolocation, and more. As our five recognized senses are dulled in water, these “extra senses” turn on. Nestor will explore the sensory transformations that occur during submergence in both the ocean and float tanks in a multimedia presentation featuring photos, videos, and more.

10:55 AM

Float Tanks and Health Departments

Paul Reeves works for the Washington State Department of Health, and is currently leading an effort there to create guidelines for float tank specific regulations.

He will be presenting his views, as a health department official, of how float tanks fit into health department code and regulation.

Paul has worked, and is working, with float centers in the state of Washington, and he will also share advice on how to best approach and work with health departments as a float center operator.

11:30 AM

An Entrepreneurial Journey

by Nick Janicki    

Sponsored Talk

Nick Janicki will talk about his journey of discovery into flotation, where he is now with True REST, the fastest growing flotation franchiser in the world, and a possible future of our industry. He will hint at upcoming technological innovations and discuss the recently launched FloatPodcast.com.

11:45 AM


Q&A sessions with Peter Suedfeld, James Nestor, Paul Reeves, and Nick Janicki will be held in breakout rooms right at the beginning of lunch.


Float Pod Technologies
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 outside the conference theater!

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.

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

2:00 PM

Introduction to the Float Clinic and Research Center

by Dr. Justin Feinstein    

The Float Clinic and Research Center is a brand new research facility that is dedicated entirely to floating. It is housed within the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR), in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Justin Feinstein is the director of the Float Clinic and Research Center, and has brought his associates with him from LIBR. Justin will introduce the Clinic, and his colleagues, Sahib Khalsa and Kyle Simmons, and then will take the stage again at the end of their talks to bring all the research they’re presenting together.

2:15 PM

Floating is a Form of Sensory Enhancement (NOT Deprivation)

by Dr. Sahib Khalsa    

Dr. Khalsa is the Director of Clinical Studies at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, where he works with Justin Feinstein at the new Float Clinic and Research Center that is housed within it.

He will be presenting on the profound effects that floating has on the body’s autonomic nervous system, as well as showing how floating creates a powerful form of internal sensory enhancement that can help bolster an individual’s awareness for their heartbeat.

2:50 PM

An EPIC Model of Floating and the Brain

Dr. Simmons is an investigator at the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR) who has helped pioneer the study of how the human brain predicts and maps the internal world of our body. We works at the institute with Justin Feinstein, who is the director of the Float Clinic and Research Center that is located within LIBR.

He will be presenting a brand new neuroscience theory known as the EPIC model, and will be describing how this model can help explain the effect that floating has on both our body and the body inside our brain.

3:25 PM


Q&A sessions with Sahib Khalsa and Kyle Simmons will be held in breakout rooms during this break.

3:55 PM

Eternal Sunshine of a Floating Mind

by Dr. Justin Feinstein    

Dr. Feinstein is Director of the Float Clinic and Research Center (FCRC), a brand new research center that is housed within the Laureate Institute for Brain Research.

The FCRC’s mission is to investigate the effects of floatation on both the body and the brain, as well as explore its potential as a therapeutic treatment for promoting mental health and healing in patients who suffer from conditions such as anxiety, addiction, and anorexia.

His presentation will unveil the results from a recent float-fMRI study, illuminating for the first time how the human brain is changed by the floating experience.

4:45 PM

NSF International: An Update on the Floatation Tank Certification

by Rich Martin    

Rich Martin is a representative from NSF International, an organization that certifies products for safety and sanitation.

NSF International has many standards and certifications for the pool and spa industry, and has recently started to develop a certification for floatation tanks. Rich has been spearheading this effort for the past few years, and will be speaking at the conference to explain where it is in the development process, and the roadmap for its future.

Rich will also be sharing information about new research NSF International is conducting with members of the float industry to collect lab data on the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide and UV as a sanitation method for floatation tanks.

5:10 PM


Q&A sessions with Justin Feinstein and Rich Martin will be held in breakout rooms during this break.

5:40 PM

Personal Story: Floating and My Recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Drug Addiction

Voted in Speaker

In the year following my first float in March of 2014, I spent 232 hours in a float tank, recovered from my 14 year battle with anorexia and bulimia, and detoxed from drug addiction. When I decided to try floating, I wasn’t sure of what I was looking for, and couldn’t possibly have predicted the healing it would lead to.

Over a decade of unsuccessful treatments (inpatient, outpatient, group therapy, private therapy, dietitians, meal plans, self-help books, antidepressants, uppers, and downers) left me weathered, frustrated, and more confused than when I’d started. I was feverishly using every external tool out there to help myself, not yet realizing that all the tools I needed were internal.

When I was entrenched in my eating disorder, it was difficult to hold onto hope because of how few sufferers actually recover, versus how many merely cycle in and out of treatment before resolving that they must live with their disorder forever. Full recovery is real, and it happened for me because I had access to a float tank.

5:55 PM

Maximum Results with Brand Expertise

by Nick Janicki    

Nick Janicki from True REST and Andy Zaremba with Float house share their results with the industry.

Nick and Andy will share the key metrics True REST and Float House use to track conversions, generate referrals, and generate a powerful recurring income stream. A typical True REST store generates 100 plus recurring members within the first 5 to 6 weeks of being open, generates a 23% conversion from first time clients to recurring members, and generates $130,000 per pod annually. Float House had nearly 1,000 total members across its growing brand.

Learn from brand experts and maximize your own results.

6:25 PM

What’s Next?

by Lee Perry    Glenn Perry    

Glenn and Lee Perry have spent decades in the float industry, going all the way back to when they developed the first commercial float tank in 1974.

After sticking around these many years – following, leading, watching, demonstrating, Glenn and Lee are delighted that the industry has made a huge jump this year.

What are the points to keep in front of us to keep the excellent quality of life that floating has to offer?

Glenn and Lee will review what makes floating so special and what they want to watch for.

7:00 PM

End of Day 1 of the Float Conference

Q&A sessions with Andy Zaremba and Nick Janicki, and with Glenn and Lee Perry will be held in breakout rooms right at the end of the day.

7:15 PM

The Heathman Hotel
1001 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97205

(4-5 blocks away from the conference)

Conference Reception Party

We’ve reserved part of the Heathman, Portland’s most famous historic hotel, to host a reception for this year’s Float Conference.

Join us as we celebrate the wonderful industry that we’ve all found ourselves a part of. This will be the best chance to meet everyone, mingle, and celebrate!

Food will be provided.Urban Float / I-sopod

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

Aug 16Sunday

10:01 AM

Accomplishing Monumental Feats

by Graham Talley    Ashkahn Jahromi    

Graham and Ashkahn are two of the co-founders of Float On and organizers of this very Float Conference! They’ve helped centers all over the world open their doors, and they’re very humbled to be able to spend their time helping to develop such a magical industry.

Their talk this year will cover how the heck to get things accomplished in this crazy world. When your dreams are large, the obstacles in your way have a habit of getting larger still. More often than you’d think, hard work, elbow grease and uncompromising brute force are your best allies.

10:45 AM

Dry Floatation Hypnosis for Pain Relief

Arreed Barabasz is one of the original researchers of REST (Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy). He began his REST research in Antarctica in 1974 and was the 2nd President of the International REST Investigators Society.

Arreed will be presenting a review of the results from an investigation he conducted with Dr. Jennifer Darakjy at Washington State University on Chamber REST.

Chamber REST is known to significantly enhance responsiveness to hypnosis for those with little prior ability to enter hypnosis. In this study, pain control was tested in lighted and unlighted conditions. Twenty volunteers wearing Ganzfeld goggles were exposed to 6 hours of REST in either dark or lighted conditions, while ten subjects experienced 6 hours of a classroom study hall level of stimulation, which included social contacts. The Stanford Form C hypnotizability test and ischemic pain tests were administered before and after the conditions and at a two-week follow-up.

Both REST groups showed significantly higher hypnotizability scores compared to the normal stimulation control group, and from pre to post REST. The lighted condition produced the best hypnotizability and pain reduction results. The findings supported Barabasz’s (1982) theory of REST responding.

11:05 AM

New Perspective in Chamber REST: Dark Therapy

Marek is a young academic worker and researcher at the University of Ostrava, in the Czech Republic. He has been studying a new service that is rapidly growing in the Czech Republic called the “Dark Therapy,” which he recognized as a form of Chamber REST.

His first data collection ran from 2010-2013, and was conducted with 37 customers signed up for Dark Therapy at the Beskydy Rehabilitation Center in ?eladná. The data was mainly collected after seven-day long stays in conditions of absolute dark, silence, and solitude, using questionnaires and surveys including the Existence Scale, the Five Facets Mindfulness Questionnaire, the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale and The Symptom Checklist 90.

His most recent study began in early 2015, and is still in progress. It involve university student volunteers who participate in 2-3 day Dark Therapy sessions at a local facility. The study is focusing on the differences in a battery of cognitive performance tests, and on physiological data such as EKG, HRV and hematocrit.

Marek plans to start another phase of the study in 2016 where he hopes to observe gains in self-knowledge, self-experience, and self-development during Dark Therapy sessions of 4-5 days, and to continue observing the parameters of EKG, HRV and possibly even the secretion of the hormones melatonin and cortisol.

11:35 AM

Designing Success Into Your Float Business

by Kevin Johnson    

Sponsored Talk

Kevin Johnson is the manufacturer of the Zero Gravity Float Room, and the operator of the Zero Gravity Float Institute float center in Austin, Texas.

He will be offering his ideas about how center design and procedures can add value to your service, win your float center more new customers, and promote more return business.

11:50 AM


Q&A sessions with Graham Talley and Ashkahn Jahromi, Arreed Barabasz, Marek Malus, and Kevin Johnson will be held in breakout rooms right at the beginning of lunch.


Portland is famous for its food carts. You can drive all over the city to experience some of the most famous carts, but instead we’ve brought them all to you!

Zero Gravit Float TanksWe’ve rented out the park right outside the conference theater and have food carts driving in from all over the city to form our own private food cart pod.

A special thank you to Zero Gravity Float Rooms for helping make this lunch possible.

1:50 PM

Float Research Panel

by Dr. Justin Feinstein    Dr. Peter Suedfeld    

Tom Fine is responsible for some of the most cited research on floatation and REST. He had a float tank setup at what was then the Medical College of Ohio, where he conducted some of the most well known studies on floating’s effect on stress and cortisol levels.

Tom will be facilitating a research panel with Justin Feinstein, Peter Suedfeld, and Arreed Barabasz. The panel will be asked a list of questions curated from submissions from you! If you have a question you’d like to ask the research panel, fill out the form below!

2:35 PM

A Health Inspector’s Experience in Assessing Floatation

by Jason MacDonald    

Jason is a health inspector who works in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He has expertise in both aquatic facilities and personal service environments such as nail salons and tattoo studios. In Alberta, not unlike other areas in North America, Jason has seen an increase in demand from passionate and dedicated float tank operators looking to open their businesses in compliance with provincial health legislation. Jason also sits on the National Executive Council of the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors, and has seen this trend grow across the country.

Floatation is a largely unregulated phenomenon in many jurisdictions, and as such health approval process can be inconsistent and challenging. Jason would like to share his experiences and offer his advice from the perspective of an environmental public health professional. He hopes to help both new and established operators present float systems that address the concerns that public health inspectors tend to have. Jason will share some findings from microbiological samples he has collected, talk about the science behind various disinfection strategies, offer simple tips in tank design that would speed up the approval process and share some insight into Alberta’s approach to floatation inspection.

3:00 PM

Creating the Future

Crash Hoefler is the director of Float Lab, a float room manufacturing company, and a float center that has been operating in Venice Beach, California since 2001.

He will be at the conference to give a brief examination of the past, present, and future of the flotation industry.

3:25 PM


Q&A sessions with the Float Research panel, Jason Macdonald, and Crash Hoefler will be held in breakout rooms during this break.

3:55 PM

The Float Experience: A Physical, Philosophical, and Poetic Exploration

by Stephen Johnson    

Within the burgeoning float business and its clinical and therapeutic applications, it is important to re-engage in the float experience, weaving together the physical, philosophical, spiritual, and poetic articulation of the Theta State.

Stephen Johnson will be giving a brief survey and speculation on current research, studies, and creativity. Emphasizing Levity- Liminality- Luminosity.

4:15 PM

Blue Mind: Your Brain Near, In, On, or Under Water

The cognitive and emotional benefits of healthy oceans and waterways have been celebrated through art, song, romance and poetry throughout human history. Marine biologist, activist, community organizer, and author Wallace J. Nichols will dive deeper and explore our blue minds through the dual lenses of evolutionary biology and cognitive science, reminding us that we are water.

4:40 PM

5:30 PM

End of the Float Conference

Q&A sessions with Stephen Johnson and Wallace J. Nichols will be held in breakout rooms right at the end of the day.


We’ll all pack up our stuff and go home to do whatever it is we do for the rest of the year. I assume just sitting, staring at a wall, patiently waiting for the 2016 Float Conference.

Aug 17Monday

9:00 AM

Classroom 221
In the Lincoln Hall Building
(The same building
the Conference is in)

CPO Training Begins!

by 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!