A Guide to bbcon 2022 for K–12 School Professionals

Blackbaud’s Tech Conference for Good™ is October 17–18, when thought leaders from around the world will share insights into education, fundraising, technology, and more. The entire conference is virtual and free this year, so everyone can join for inspiring content and peer networking opportunities. Register now for bbcon 2022.

Keynote speakers include Glennon Doyle, New York Times bestselling author, activist, philanthropist, and host of the We Can Do Hard Things podcast; and Simu Liu, actor, writer, producer, and one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential People of 2022.” You’ll hear exciting updates from Blackbaud executives and discover how we’re building software just for you.

While there are dozens of sessions designed to pique anyone’s interest, we wanted to feature those that are purpose-built for K–12 school professionals.

K–12 Super Session: Building a Thriving School Culture in a Time of Great Change

The last few years have been a time of significant change. Our K—12 super session will consider the Enrollment Management Association’s most recent report, The Ride to Independent Schools, in which they found a generational shift in how families choose private schools. Families now look for the best fit for their children instead of the “best school” by reputation. This speaks directly to how a school communicates its unique culture.

What lessons have we learned about school culture over the last few years? Do we need to re-envision our school’s mission and values? How are we keeping staff and faculty engaged when burnout and recession loom? Join these K–12 luminaries for a genuine conversation on building school culture and thriving in a time of significant change:

  • Ray Cross, Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid/Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at St. Andrew’s School in Barrington, RI
  • Jake Guadnola, Head of Annie Wright Schools in Tacoma, WA
  • Kerry Martin, Dean of Curriculum at Providence High School in Burbank, CA

With almost 20 years of experience in K–12 schools, including as Head of School at two private institutions, Blackbaud’s Dan Marchetti will moderate the panel.

K–12 Breakout Sessions at bbcon 2022

In addition to our highly anticipated super session, bbcon includes breakout sessions for professionals in every K–12 school department. Here are a few we wanted to highlight:

  • How Financial Aid Programs Benefit when the Business Office and Admissions Work Together

Join Katie Turner, former Controller at Miss Porter’s School and current Blackbaud solutions consultant, will discuss how complicated family tax structures, inconsistent expectations, and external factors beyond a school’s control can create challenges for financial aid programs. When staff from the business office, admissions, and enrollment share their expertise and work together to align objectives, resources, and processes, K–12 schools can have a more effective and efficient financial aid program.

  • From Stealth Applicant to Fully Engaged K–12 Family

“Stealth applicants” are now common in K–12 private schools. These families rely on websites, social media, videos, and online reviews to help decide which school is best for their children and only initiate contact when filling out an online application. This presents a challenge to K–12 admissions, enrollment, and marketing professionals. How do you attract these families who rely so heavily on technology? Once they’re enrolled, how do you keep them engaged throughout their school experience so they return year after year? Can you turn them into advocates for your school to help recruit more families? Jennifer Haley, former Director of Enrollment at Annie Wright Schools and current Blackbaud solutions consultant, will address these questions and more.

  • How Technology Can Engage the Entire K–12 School Community

Gen X has replaced the baby boomer generation as the majority in K–12 parent groups, with an increasing population of millennials enrolling their young children. These generations rely on technology. They carry their smartphones wherever they go and use those devices to interact with businesses, service providers, and even schools. Whitney Donnelly, a lifelong educator and current Blackbaud solutions consultant, will explore creative ways technology can enhance a family’s experience, particularly regarding enrollment, communications, and fundraising.

We’ll also be offering great content with experts in fundraising, financial management, data and analytics, and more, such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Fact vs. Science Fiction
  • Get on Target: Analytics-Driven Fundraising
  • How Automation Helps Retain Talent & Improve Efficiency in Accounts Payable

Blackbaud Product Update Briefings

Immediately following bbcon, we’re holding the Blackbaud Product Update Briefings on Wednesday and Thursday, October 19–20. Hear more about the latest industry trends, recent innovations, and future enhancements to our leading K–12 solutions. These include but are not limited to:

Your bbcon registration includes access to all the Blackbaud Product Update Briefings. Register now for bbcon 2022.

Getting Organized for bbcon 2022

With dozens of breakout sessions, live networking opportunities, and product update briefings, it can be challenging to prioritize your schedule. Here are a few tricks to help you get organized:

  • Picking your sessions: Don’t limit yourself to the sessions classified as part of the K–12 or Ed Solutions tracks! Look at everything offered and choose what you find most compelling. Our end goal is to provide a variety of presentations that pique your interest and leave you with actionable insight to take back to your organization.
  • Be prepared: Make the most of your time by having anything you need during a session within reach. These may include a water bottle, your favorite caffeinated beverage, snacks, and a notepad.
  • Block time on your calendar: Once you’ve determined which sessions and product update briefings to attend, reserve that time on your calendar. This will help to mitigate conflicts and last-minute changes.
  • Embrace virtual networking: Throughout the conference there will be plenty of opportunities for attendees to network with peers and with Blackbaud staff. You can also schedule one-on-one time with attendees, speakers, and sponsors using the networking feature in the virtual platform. Make sure to opt into networking in your conference registration to have access to all the different networking opportunities.
  • Take breaks: Get up and stretch or take a short walk. Use your time between sessions to refresh so you are ready for the next session.

bbcon is an opportunity to get inspired, learn from experts, and build your network. Register for free today!