There’s been a lot of reimagining and reinventing over the last four months. When it became clear in April that hosting an in-person conference with approximately 1,000 attendees wasn’t going to be an option, we took a page from the book of our K–12 schools and started reimagining our annual conference experience. With over 4,500 registered attendees at the time this was posted, we must be doing a few things right.
Just like the experience reported by our schools, we knew we couldn’t simply take what had worked in-person (or in the classroom) and stick it on Zoom. So we started thinking about how to bring an authentic and personal experience to the K–12 community. We also knew we needed to think differently and “meet the moment” with our content. Finally, with so many schools facing unprecedented challenges in the current environment, we wanted to open up the conference to be applicable to both Blackbaud K–12 customers and non-customers alike. With these challenges in mind, we’re proud to present the new Blackbaud K–12 UC, the private school tech conference.
So what’s new and different about this virtual version of Blackbaud K–12 UC? Here are a few highlights:
- Inspiring and Informative Keynote Speakers: We’ve lined up six amazing keynote speakers, each bringing unique perspectives to the current challenges facing K–12 private schools, including Blackbaud K–12 GM and President Travis Warren; mathematician, renowned TED talker, and TV host, Talithia Williams; education experts Homa Tavangar, Will Richardson, and Jessica Lahey; and renowned epidemiologist Dr. Michael Osterholm!
- Innovative Ignite Sessions: The Blackbaud K–12 Ignite sessions feature rapid-fire, five-minute presentations from a panel of industry experts followed by live Q&A. Designed to inspire and spark discussion, these fast-paced sessions will provide food for thought and actionable advice regarding ed-tech, marketing, admissions and enrollment, tuition and financial aid, and the digital parent experience.
- K–12 School Best Practices: Best practices are the bread and butter of the UC experience. This year's sessions focus both on meeting the moment of the pandemic, as well as the exploration of key topics like grading equity, technology integration, and competency-based education.
- Product Shop Talks: Of course, no UC would be complete without Product Shop Talks. This year we’re leaning in on technology to provide unique ways to interact with our product management team.
Speaking of technology, you’ll find some innovative capabilities made possible by the virtual format of the event:
- Interest-based networking: By indicating areas of interest when you register, attendees have the option to be matched for networking with other attendees.
- Sponsor engagement: We’re grateful for the support of some awesome partners. Attendees will be able to engage digitally with partners in the Blackbaud K–12 Marketplace, including viewing content, chatting, and scheduling demos and meetings on the fly.
- Connect with your Blackbaud K–12 team: The Blackbaud K–12 team will be available throughout the event, whether you have a product question, would like to request a demo or more information, or simply to connect with your account team, we’re just a click away.
There’s no doubt that we’re going to miss seeing so many of our customers and partners in-person this year and we’re really bummed that we won’t be bringing the UC experience to Los Angeles. Nevertheless, we’re looking on the bright side—in this virtual format, we’re able to bring content to many more than could otherwise travel to the event, we’re able to make the content free for everyone, and we’re able to include new and thought-provoking speakers. While we expect to be back in-person in 2021, there’s certainly going to be a few lessons we take forward with us as the event evolves.
Oh, and one more advantage to our virtual format, you can still register to attend! We hope to see you there.
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