Aria Javidan’s first Public Health Expo was in 2019 in Philly, and he was unsure how a pandemic-year expo would compare.

Student Assembly Expo booth“We’ve gotten some great traffic. We’ve met some great people,” he said earlier today from Booth 1309 as an exhibitor for the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers. “I’m glad you were able to hold it in-person.”

APHA Past President Michael Bird said he couldn’t agree more. He called this year’s in-person event “very nourishing for the spirt.” He and APHA member Vonna Henry took a moment soon after the expo opened earlier today to catch up while sitting in two of the many physically distanced chairs available to expo-goers needing to rest their weary feet.

Blue Bear holding Aisle 1000 sign“Last year’s conference was fine, but it didn’t give me the re-energizing feeling this one does,” Henry said.

The expo hall does look a bit “sparse” as one exhibitor put it, allowing for more space than usual between booths and lots of room for attendees to take a break. The schools of public health have once again brought their spirted swag — including Virginia Tech’s adorable cows and the University of Kentucky’s tiny basketball-shaped stress balls. Kudos to both exhibitors and expo-goers for the creative array of face masks, from Anthony Fauci to Florida Gators to bedazzled and floral.

Words can never do the expo justice. If you’re in Denver, check it out in Exhibit Halls A & F between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. tomorrow and/or 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. Be sure to swing by the APHA’s combo booth in the middle of the expo hall near the Aisle 1000 sign for badge ribbons, for National Public Health Week stickers, tote bags and more. APHA Press has T-shirts and books for sale, as well as free past issues of the American Journal of Public Health.

If you’re attending APHA 2021 online, the Virtual Expo lets you add exhibitors to your personal expo plan, browse show specials and more. Many exhibitors are offering creative public health swag via their virtual booths, and among other products for sale, you can buy a “Life is Better with Healthy Feet” T-shirt from the Foot and Ankle Health Section to support student scholarships. Sounds like a win-win.

Photos by Jim Ezell/EZ Event Photography and Donya Currie