2015 Association of Professional Piercers

Conference and Exposition

Join us for our 20th Anniversary!


Take me to the Conference Website!



2015 APP Program and Schedule
Our 2015 program and Schedule

Our 20th Annual Conference and Exposition will be in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our classrooms will once again fill with attendees from all over the world. Piercers, Studio Owners, Vendors, and Health Inspectors will all come together for a week of education and peer-to-peer sharing. Learn the core requirements as a new piercer just starting to work in the industry — or update your skills and information as an experienced practitioner.  You need not be an APP member to attend the Conference!

The Exposition is the only one of its kind in this country. There is no where else you will see so much great jewelry, products, and body piercing related services all in one spot. We expect our Vendors to donate generously to our Raffle – in past years, total value of prizes has exceeded $60,000, with more than 150 individual prizes donated. Social events include an Opening Party, a Banquet Dinner, Yoga, and more…

*some restrictions apply to the Exposition and Members Only & Piercing Technique classes.

Please note: All the information on this page is subject to change until such time Registration is open for the 2015 Conference.


Everyone! New Piercers, Experienced Piercers, International Piercers, Apprentices, Counter People, Studio Owners, Health Inspectors, Legislators, Researchers, Retailers, Wholesalers, Manufacturers (restrictions apply to the Exposition, Members Only, and Piercing Technique Courses, see below)



(Join the APP!)

If you ARE an APP member, you get some perks each year at Conference. For 2015, the APP will offer Members-Only classes, and $50.00 off your full conference fees. If you are not yet a member, this is the time to join! Hard Copy Applications must be submitted and be complete by March 7, 2015 in order to guarantee processing by Conference. Applications which are submitted digitally if complete by April 7th, 2015 will be processed.  Any applications submitted or completed after these dates will be held until July 1, 2015 for processing by the membership committee.  No if, ands or buts!


The Conference is a week long educational event.  It consists of classes, workshops, round table discussions, meetings, the Expo, and has two main scheduled social events: the Opening Party & the Banquet.  There are often additional smaller events or presentations which vary from year to year in addition to these.

CLASSES: Are taught on a variety of topics – some classes (core subjects) are taught every year; some classes (electives) vary from year to year.  They may be repeated or may not be in future years. Classes cost money.  Classes are taught by experienced piercers or adjunct professionals.  These classes do not generally have a class size limit. They are typically taught in a traditional lecture format, with one or two instructors.  Occasionally there will be a panel of 3 or more instructors.  All attendees will need to sign up for classes in advance of attending.

WORKSHOPS: Are classes which are taught by groups of instructors, to small groups of attendees.  These classes are taught multiple times during the week but have a limited class size for each session offered.  Each session of the class is the same.  These classes are more likely to include demonstration and hands-on practice than a traditional class.   The price of the workshops is included in the Full Conference Pass fee.

ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS: Are open discussions on a specific topic led by a facilitator.  These are designed to foster peer-to-peer sharing & education.  The facilitator is there to make sure the discussion stays on topic and to assist the group in maintaining a lively productive discussion.  Round Tables are free of charge and open to all attendees.

MEETINGS: The APP has traditionally held meetings for specialized groups as a way to foster networking and encourage collaboration and teamwork on shared issues. At this time the Conference has meetings for international attendees, legislation, health inspectors, new attendees/mentors, studio owners, committees, and the International Suspension Alliance.  There’s often impromptu meetings set for like-minded people, so keep an ear out!

EXPOSITION: This is where vendors of jewelry and other piercing related services and products have booths displaying their items for sale.  The Expo is open Tuesday-Friday, with Friday being a partial day.  Entrance to the Expo is limited to those who are affiliated with the piercing industry.  The fee to enter varies based on the number of days you want to attend.  If you purchase a Full Conference pass it includes all four days of the Expo.

OPENING PARTY: Held on Monday Night, this is the opening social event of the Conference.  In recent years this has been a casual event held poolside, with a light dinner buffet (free) and a cash bar.  The Opening Party is free to all who want to attend.

BANQUET DINNER: Held on Thursday Night, this is the closing social event of the Conference.  Typically a themed event, with a buffet dinner and entertainment.  Tickets to attend are required, and often sell out before the event is held.  After the entertainment, the annual awards ceremonies, speeches, and final raffle draw is held.  This portion of the event is open to non-ticket holders.

What kind of classes will Attendees find at the APP Conference?

EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES The APP provides ample course selections for both the new attendee and our returning piercers.  Non-Piercers are welcome to attend the Conference but will not have access to piercing technique courses.

Expected course and roundtable topics for 2015 Once finalized, all information will be posted on the APP 2015 Conference website.  Courses offered in a workshop format will be held with multiple sessions; with attendees being allowed to sign up for one session per topic only.   

The APP reserves the right to change this list up until such time that registration opens.


Aftercare: Client Home Care

Aftercare: Troubleshooting Piercing Problems

Aftercare: Wound Healing Dynamics

Basic Steel & Titanium

Bedside Manner and Grounding

Bloodborne Pathogens (BBP)

Initial Jewelry

Medical Considerations for Body Piercing

Female Genital Piercings

Orientation/Mentor Program

Oro-Facial Anatomy for Safe & Successful Piercings


Studio Documentation



Ear Piercings & Projects

Ethics in Communication

The Early APP: Presentations

How to Use a Statim

Industry Careers for the Non Piercer

Jewelry Display

Jewelry Polishing & Care

Jewelry Sales

Lapidary Anthropology

Needles: the Cutting Edge

Piercing as a Lifetime Career


Recovering History of Western Body Piercing from the 1890s to the 1990s.

Studio Analysis

Surface Piercing

Taking on an Apprentice

WORKSHOPS:  Strategic Marking; Fundamentals in Piercing Techniques and  Working Clean in Your Studio

These two classes are for APP Piercing Members Only: Members Open Techniques and Atypical Anatomy


Community Outreach: Sharing the Safe Piercing Message

Disorders in the Industry

Transgendered Clients

Mastering the Jewelry Monster

Implementing Change


APP Committees

Friends of Bill W

Health Inspectors

International Issues

International Suspension Alliance


Members meeting

New Attendees & Mentors Meeting

Shop Owners

There are so many classes offered, how can I take them all?

You can’t in a single year. The APP encourages studios to send multiple representatives to maximize the number of classes and amount of education a single studio can obtain. Remember, we have many piercers who attend this Conference every year and we try to offer enough variety for everyone to have a unique experience each time they attend Conference.

I am a Health Inspector/Regulator, can I attend the Conference? How much does it cost me?

Yes, and for the 10th year in a row the APP invites Health Inspectors / Regulators to attend the Conference free of charge. The only requirement for this offer is that the person(s) attending reserves and stays in a room in the host hotel within the APP room block. Book early to get your room. Our room block does fill! If you need documentation confirming this offer, contact or 888-888-1277



Hablo español. ¿Me puede ayudar usted?

Por favor contacta si usted necesita hablar con alguien en español.

Je parle français. Pouvez-vous m’aider?

Vous pouvez contacter si vous souhaitez parler avec quelqu’un en francais.
Translation of the above: Please contact if you need to speak with someone in Spanish or French.

I have a disability. Can you help me?

The APP wants Conference to be a great experience for all its Attendees. If you have a need for special services or concerns about access etc. please do not hesitate to contact us. 1-888-888-1277 or 785-841-6060 or

I have no money. Can you help me? 

Applications accepted December 1-January 31, 2015  The APP has a limited number of scholarships available. Before he passed away in February of 2001, Al D. Sowers devoted much of his piercing career to the education of piercers.  It is only fitting that this scholarship be named for him. This is funding for approximately 8 piercers in need of financial assistance to attend the APP conference.  Accommodations and conference registration are included in the Scholarship.  Winners are required to share a room with other recipients and work more than 30 hours during the Conference.  In addition, they must provide their own transportation to and from the conference.

Link to application information: Al D. Scholarships

I am easily stressed. Can you help me?

The APP encourages all participants to take care of themselves during Conference. Due to long hours and the excitement of the event, many attendees find themselves overwhelmed. Daily morning Yoga classes are free to all attendees. The Friends of Bill W. and Al-Anon will have meetings during the week. The staff and volunteers at Conference are available should you need assistance in finding emotional support, medical care, or a quiet place to rest – please let us help.

I want to Volunteer – how can I help?

Volunteers made a big difference in the success of our Conference if you are interested in joining our team in 2015 please contact Caitlin at Hours and schedules can be adjusted to suit your desires.  Volunteers do not receive compensation (unless obtaining the scholarship / have been asked to apply for experienced volunteer positions).


Can I get pierced at the Conference or do piercings in my hotel room?

Absolutely not! To maintain space in our host hotel and comply with insurance requirements, absolutely no piercing, scarification, branding or implants; or any other form of body modification from hotel rooms (in any hotel) will be tolerated. Any APP members participating in these types of activities risk losing their membership. Any member or non-member risks expulsion from the hotel and/or Conference. This type of behavior contradicts everything the APP represents and promotes in its educational outreach and mission.


Admittance to the Expo is restricted to those affiliated with the industry as it is considered to be a trade show floor. These restrictions protect our vendors, who are selling to retailers at wholesale prices. Attendees who purchase an Expo pass will be asked to show proof of industry affiliation (business license, business card with name, other documentation). The APP can refuse entry to the Exposition Floor without proof of industry affiliation.


Attendees who register early get a discount of $100 off their pass.


Attendees who register early will get $10 off per class.

We strongly encourage our Attendees to register in advance of the Conference using the online system.  This allows the APP a chance to make any last minute adjustments to classroom size, number of volunteers on doors etc.  This keeps on-site registration lines short and makes sure everyone can get the classes they want to attend.


Minors (those under 18) are not allowed to attend our Conference as Attendees due to the adult nature of our course content.  Individuals 18-20 may attend the Conference without a parent/guardian but are not allowed in the gambling areas and must share a room with someone at least 21 years of age and the room must be registered to that person per hotel policy: “Each guestroom must have at least one registered guest twenty-one (21) years of age or older”.


APP Classes are now set as basic/advanced.  For those individuals who are not piercers, or who are apprentice piercers attending the Conference,  piercing technique classes will not be available.  For those with less than one year experience/apprentices desiring to attend advanced level courses, a letter from their mentor must be submitted during registration; and their mentor must also be attending the Conference.  Same class registration not required.

The APP is committed to providing challenging and interesting curriculum for all the attendees of the Conference.


Attendees can take 1 session of each of the classes offered in the workshop format, however, space is limited and we encourage everyone to sign up early as they will fill.   Each session is the same material although different instructors may lead each session.


Policies and procedures are still being finalized for 2015!


  • Registration will stay open right up to Conference (prices will increase approx. 3 weeks prior to Conference – date TBD)
  • Self registration available onsite
  • All classes will now have a class size limit
  • All Attendees will now have to sign up for any classes they want to take in advance
    • Full Conference Pass holders will need to sign up for each class they want to take.
  • Partial Conference Attendees will now have access to the Workshop courses
  • CPR and First Aid no longer offered at the Conference
  • Only Full Conference Pass holders can utilize the “No-Show Passes” now available for all classes.
  • Social Wall – see your photos post in real time!
  • The APP will have a Conference app available approximately 30-60 days before the Conference
    • View your schedule/set alarms & reminders
    • View class descriptions/speaker info.
    • Provide class and speaker feedback
    • Get details on Vendors and Sponsors!
    • Interactive Event Maps: Expo Floor, Conference Area, Las Vegas
    • Build your Network – scan your fellow attendees’ and vendors’ badges to capture contact info!
    • Post directly to your Social Media accounts.