2018 Schedule

Schedule Overview

Thursday, Aug. 16

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

Friday, Aug. 17

Start a Center Workshop (Day 2): 9am – 1pm
Friday Activities: 10am – 7pm
Welcome Party: 7pm

Saturday, Aug. 18

Conference Registration: 8am – 8:45am
Float Conference (Day 1): 9am – 6:30pm
Saturday Night Reception: 6:30pm

Sunday, Aug. 19

Float Conference (Day 2): 10am – 5:45pm

Monday, Aug. 20

Certified Pool/Spa Operator Training: 9am – 6:30pm

Detailed Schedule

Aug 16Thursday

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 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

Kyle Robins

How to Market a Float Center (It’s not what you think)
Sponsored Talk

Learn how to use current marketing strategies to profitably grow your float center and have paying members for years to come – regardless of your number of tanks, business location, or town’s population size.

1:00 PM


Maximum Floats

A catered lunch will be provided.

A special thanks to Maximum Floats 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 17Friday

9:00 AM

Day 2 of the Start a Float Center Workshop Begins!

9:00 AM

Business and Finance

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

10:40 AM

Eric Baird & Quentin Stephens Jr.

2018, A Groupon Odyssey
Sponsored Talk

Groupon is a Local Advertising Platform. It’s not for everyone, but it tends to work best for business types that are fun/niche, membership oriented, have a relatively high appointment/guest capacity, and don’t have extremely thin margins. The platform can be used as a distribution channel for existing or seasonal specials to reach beyond the existing following and expand to a local marketplace. Groupon can help get the word out of a newly opened business, build an email list, help fund a project or renovation, gather customer feedback, book slower times, share new services that have been added, and much more. Controls are offered to keep users safe with purchase limits per guest, sales limits, and can even tie into some of the booking systems to make it seamless for guests.

10:50 AM


11:20 AM


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

1:00 PM

End of the How to Start a Float Center Workshop

1:00 PM


A catered lunch will be provided.

Special thanks to Groupon for helping make this lunch possible!

10:00 AM – 7:00 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, calming and stimulating workshops, and more!

View the activities (and sign up) here!

Friday Welcome Party

Join us for a get together at Rogue Hall – just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Friday Activities. Food and drink will be available for purchase.

Aug 18Saturday

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!

As is tradition, the main conference will begin with Graham and Ashkahn performing a high dive stunt into the world’s smallet float tank.

9:00 AM

Opening Words

by Ashkahn Jahromi

9:15 AM

Dr. Justin Feinstein

Desensitizing the Anxious Nervous System

Justin’s presentation will unveil the results from a recent study measuring what happens in both the body and the brain during a float session in patients spanning the spectrum of different anxiety disorders, including PTSD, Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, and Generalized Anxiety.

9:50 AM

Gloria Morris

The Art and Science of Modern Business

Running a business in today’s modern world of technology and data is overwhelming even to those who have lived in technology for years. This talk will review some valuable tools and techniques that help balance the art and science of management.

10:15 AM


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

10:55 AM

Jennifer Langdon

Personal Float Story

11:10 AM

M.C. Flux

Floatation and Immune Health

Recent findings from the Float Clinic and Research Center have shown that Floatation-REST therapy has the power to decrease anxiety and increase feelings of relaxation. However, the mechanism behind this improvement remains elusive. Discoveries in the burgeoning field of psychoneuroimmunology have brought the immune system to the forefront as a possible cause of depression and anxiety in some people. Chemical messengers unique to the immune system have the potential to communicate with the brain leading to a decrease in mood and an increase in anxiety. In a first of it’s kind study, this talk will share the results of a direct exploration into the immunological effects of the float experience in individuals both with and without anxiety.

11:45 AM

Gernot Seebacher

Zerobody, the Ultimate Dry Floating Experience
Sponsored Talk

Gernot Seebacher, Dry floating Ambassador for Starpool, will present Zerobody, an innovative product for the dry floating therapy combined with the mindfulness. Don’t miss this opportunity to discover the ultimate evolution of the floating Industry!

12:00 PM


Q&A sessions with Jennifer and Flux 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 Farmers 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 Farmers 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.

2:00 PM

Dr. Ricardo Gil-da-Costa

Float, Flow, and Neurotechnology

2:25 PM

Brian Kroll

Personal Float Story

2:40 PM

Dr. Horace Walcott

A Comparative Study of FL-REST in Novices and Experts: Altered States and Quantum Effects
Voted in Speaker!

In an anonymous survey comparing altered states of consciousness between expert and novice floaters, we demonstrated significant differences along a spectrum of altered states of consciousness. The survey measured Altered States of Consciousness using the Mystical Experience Questionnaire 43, relaxation response with the Experience Deviation from Normal Scale, and shamanistic states of consciousness using the Greyson Near Death Experience scale. All statistical tests demonstrated significant differences and relationships between the experienced and novice floaters.

2:50 PM

Poonacha Machaiah

Floatation, Flow, and Wellbeing

3:15 PM


Q&A sessions with Ricardo, Brian, Horace, and Poonacha will be held on the top floor during this break.

3:45 PM

Dr. Peicheng Hu

The Advanced Research of Floatation Therapy in China

Dr. Peicheng Hu is a professor and clinical doctor in the Medical Psychology Department of Peking University in China, and the current President of the Flotation Therapy Association of China. In his talk, Professor Hu will share the history of floatation therapy in China, especially the rapid developments floating has seen in the last two decades. He will also be presenting the scientific research he has conducted on floatation throughout the years.

4:15 PM

Cindy Molchany

What the Float Industry Can Learn from the Wine Industry and How You Can Use This Knowledge to Increase Repeat Business
Voted in Speaker!

Selling memberships is tricky business. People generally hate the thought of making a commitment to part with their money on a recurring basis and most only do so for “involuntary” expenses (i.e. insurance and utilities). So how has the wine industry managed to attribute an estimated 40% of their $2.6 Billion direct-to-consumer market to wine club sales? Probably not how you think. In this short talk, I will share the 3 key strategies that you can start using in your float tank business to increase membership numbers and create happier, more loyal customers. These are the same strategies I used when working with my wine clients that resulted in 100% of winery sales coming from members (and a year long waiting list for new people to join).

4:30 PM


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

5:30 PM

Murphy Monroe

Personal Float Story

5:45 PM

Ashkahn Jahromi & Graham Talley

The Future of the Float Conference

After seven fun-filled years, this is the last time that Float On will be organizing the Float Conference. Graham and Ashkahn will share what they see as the path forward towards this event being organized as an industry run non-profit.

6:30 PM

End of Day 1 of the Float Conference

Saturday Night Reception

Join us on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel for our big conference bash! The Hilton is located just one block away from the conference venue.

Food will be provided, and drink will be available for purchase.

Aug 19Sunday

10:00 AM

Day 2 of the Float Conference Begins

10:00 AM

Glenn Perry & Lee Perry

What’s in a Name?

Does what you call your product or procedure influence your business? Dive in with float pinoneers, Glenn and Lee Perry as they share their knowledge and experience about the effect of a name on a business.

10:40 AM

James Nestor

The Lost Art and Science of Breathing

Nestor will be at the 2018 Float Conference to discuss new research on his forthcoming book (2019, Penguin) on the lost art and science of breathing.

11:05 AM


Q&A sessions with Glenn & Lee, and James will be held on the top floor during this break.

11:35 AM

Dr. Roy Vore

Should We Worry about Germs in Float Tanks?

Float tanks present unique ecological conditions to both humans and the uninvited germs that accompany them. Recreational water illnesses (RWIs) are well known in swimming pools and spas, but little of the microbial data collected by various float centers, including Float On, has been published. Some public health officials have applied traditional microbial risk assessments from pools and spas to float tanks. However, the patron population, user load rate, patron behavior, the hyper-saline environment, and water replacement pattern in float tanks are substantially different than those found in swimming pools and spas. This talk will discuss which pathogens might present health threats and how that knowledge can produce a unique risk assessment and more appropriate regulatory guidelines for float tank operations.

12:25 PM

Juliet Tango Mylan

Floating and Personal Identity

I’ve been a floater at Float On and friend of Graham and Ashkahn for the last 8 years. In 2016, I went on Float Tour with Graham and Ashkahn. The Tour was a wild, surreal, and exhausting experience. It pushed the boundaries of my endurance, my patience, and even my sanity. In the middle of that whirlwind I experienced a deep introspective moment in a float tank that helped me realize that I wasn’t the gender I was assigned at birth.

In this talk, I’ll be sharing my experiences in that tank, the moments that lead up to it, and the years that have followed. I’ll address my challenges with transition, the love and support I’ve found in my community, and the clarity of purpose that has come by using the float tank to help me understand who I am.

The things I’ve learned and how I’ve learned them, while specific to my own experience, are valuable life lessons that I think anyone can learn from.

12:40 PM


Q&A sessions with Roy, and Juliet will be held on the top floor at the beginning of this lunch.

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 :)

2:50 PM

Dr. John Turner

The Magic and Mess of Chasing Floatation Physiology

This talk straddles the time period of early Floatation research from the late ‘70’s through the ‘90’s, with a focus on the efforts of the lab at the Medical College of Ohio. It includes the vagaries of exploring unknown territory in ourselves and in research, including the challenges, joys, silliness and intensity of inserting the then-mysterious “tank” into regimented academia, developing floatation-research protocols to yield publishable data and applying physiology-assessment technology to floatation monitoring. Attention is also given to the roller coaster ride of novelty-fed elation, frustrating logistics, puzzling data and some of the associated stories. Possible value of the early Floatation work in the present and future roles of floatation in self-awareness and in therapeutics will be considered.

3:30 PM

Tom Fine

Getting to the Heart of Floating: Changes in Heart Rate Variability during a Float

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) is a psychophysiological measure that provides information about changes occurring in a person’s autonomic nervous system. This talk will present data from a study conducted at LIBR that recorded HRV during a floatation session, as well as a control session in both anxious and normal subjects. Changes in HRV as well as subjective reports of depression and anxiety will be discussed.

4:05 PM


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

4:35 PM

Kevin McCulloch & Jacob Resch

How You Do Anything Is How You Do Everything

Jacob and Kevin are the owners of Float STL and the organizers of the RISE Float Gathering. In this talk, they will share about their own experience practicing this fundamental principle, how it shapes their decision making process, and why they believe this is a critical element in operating a float center.

5:10 PM

Stephen Johnson

Welcome to Float Church

Stephen Johnson will take us to Float Church. Here, with Float as the access point, we will explore spirit as an aspect of self and its emplacement at the crossroads of the scientific, the spiritual, the ecological, the philosophical, and the artistic.

5:25 PM

Closing Words

5:35 PM

Thank You’s

5:45 PM

End of the 2018 Float Conference

Q&A session with Kevin & Jacob, and Stephen will be held on the top floor right when the conference concludes.

Aug 20Monday

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!

6:30 PM

CPO Training Ends