2017 Association of Professional Piercers

Conference and Exposition


Last year’s Conference Program

Our 22nd 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 $50,000, with more than 125 individual prizes donated. In 2016 our Raffle prizes exceeded $150,000!  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 2017 Conference. Hotel Policies will be available on the Event Website or can be obtained by request from the office.


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 2017, 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, 2017 in order to guarantee processing by Conference. Applications which are submitted digitally if complete by  April 7th, 2017 will be processed.  Any applications submitted or completed after these dates will be held until August 1, 2017 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.

STANDARD CLASS FORMAT: Are classes taught on a variety of topics – some  (core subjects) are taught every year; some (electives) vary from year to year.  They may be repeated or may not be in future years.  Standard format classes are taught by experienced piercers or adjunct professionals.  These classes have a class size limit based on the room they are held in. 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 these type of classes in advance of attending. The price of these classes is included in the Full Conference Pass fee; or can be paid for individually.

WORKSHOP FORMAT: Are classes which are taught by groups of instructors, to small groups of attendees.  These classes are offered multiple times during the week but have a limited class size (smaller than a standard class)  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 standard format class.   Not all workshop format classes are structured the same. The price of these classes is included in the Full Conference Pass fee; or can be paid for individually.

TALK APP SESSIONS: Talk APP sessions will be 20 minutes of inspiration,  information, & ingenuity! These sessions will be grouped in 3 sessions under a general topic for a 1.5 hour block.  Don’t miss these innovative sessions.

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 (round-table), 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 any attendee/vendor at our Conference who wants to attend.  Attendees/Vendors are allowed to bring non-attendee guests (spouses/friends) but they must enter the party with the Attendee/Vendor.  Wristbands for attendees/guests will be issued in your badge packet for 2017.   Hotel regulations prevent outside food or drink being brought into this event.

BANQUET DINNER: Held on Thursday Night, this is the closing social event of the Conference.  Typically this is 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 and cannot register until onsite in Vegas.

Expected course and roundtable topics for 2017 Once finalized, all information will be posted on the APP 2017 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.


Anatomy of the Body for Safe & Successful Piercings

Basic Steel, Titanium, & Niobium

Basic Genital Piercing

Bedside Manner and Grounding

Initial Jewelry – Size & Style

Orientation/Mentor Program

Oro-Facial Anatomy for Safe & Successful Piercings


Studio Documentation

Troubleshooting Piercing Problems

Wound Care / After Care






Post Wound Care/ After Care Discussion

Implementing Change in Your Studio

Disorders in the Industry

APP Membership

Studio Owners

For & About Women in the Industry


APP Committees

Friends of Bill W

Health Inspectors

International Piercers

International Suspension Alliance


Members meeting

New Attendees & Mentors Meeting

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 12th 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.

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 October 18-December 18, 2017  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 6 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


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. will have meetings during the week. Meditation Sessions are scheduled during the week.  This year we have a lunch break for all of our Attendees.  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.


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 required  to upload/show proof of industry affiliation (business license, business card with name, other documentation) at the time of registration. The APP can refuse entry to the Exposition Floor without proof of industry affiliation.





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 who are not yet piercing;  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 we encourage their/a mentor to also attend the Conference.

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


Attendees can take 1 session of any multi session offerings, 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 2017!


A California-based, international non-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of vital health and safety information about body piercing to piercers, health care professionals, legislators, and the general public.