A Guide to bbcon 2022 Virtual for Higher Education Professionals

Higher education professionals from around the world are attending bbcon—Blackbaud’s Tech Conference for Good™—October 17–18 to learn from thought leaders in education, fundraising, technology, and more. The entire conference is free and virtual, 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 also hear exciting updates from Blackbaud executives and discover how we’re building software solutions to help your organizations maximize impact.

While there are dozens of sessions designed to pique anyone’s interest, we wanted to highlight some specifically intended for the higher education audience.

Super Session: Navigating Uncertainty—Insight to Strengthen Higher Ed Advancement

Through times of change and uncertainty, higher education institutions have persevered and even thrived through innovation and agility. Our panel of experts will discuss considerations to prepare for economic headwinds and offer strategies to strengthen fundraising, manage talent, and improve supporter engagement.

  • Cara Giacomini—Vice President of Data, Research, and Technology at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE)
  • Matthew Ewing—Vice President for Advancement at Boise State University
  • Carrie White—Vice President of Technology, Information, and Philanthropic Strategy at the University of Cincinnati Foundation
  • Chris Krackeler—President and GM of Blackbaud Higher Education

bbcon offers more insight into navigating uncertainty in these breakout sessions:

  • Philanthropy Through Recession: How Savvy Organizations Build a Strategy for Resiliency
  • Finding Stability in Uncertain Times: How to Grow Your Supporter Base No Matter What the Climate

Additional Sessions to Maximize Your Impact

In addition to our highly anticipated super session, bbcon includes breakout sessions for advancement, scholarship, finance, and professional development. These are just a few of the highlights:

  • Transforming Mid-level Giving Programs with AI and Visualization

In this session, Blackbaud’s Bill Walsh will speak with Kim Bowden and Katie Sclafani of the Georgia Tech Alumni Association about how their team is transforming their mid-level giving program with advanced visualization to drive decision-making and increased program participation. Using Blackbaud CRM and Microsoft Power BI predictors, they’ll describe using AI to identify new prospects and improve the retention of existing program members. Join them to learn the strategy, techniques, and usage of this new generation of innovation.

  • The Virtuous Circle: Donor Stewardship that Creates Long-term Impact

With more than 20 years of successful fundraising, donor relations, and stewardship experience at Wesleyan University, Blackbaud’s Marcy Herlihy will join Russel Heskin of Western University of Health Sciences to discuss how to use Blackbaud Award Management® and Blackbaud Stewardship Management® to create a “Virtuous Circle” that inspires existing donors and transforms donor-funded scholarship recipients into new donors after graduation. Learn about donor stewardship and cultivation strategies that can elevate the department’s operations from fund stewardship to a complete donor-centric program focused on stewardship strategies, impact reporting, and donor engagement and recognition.

  • Skills UP: Shoring Up Tech Skills in Your Organization

Running a successful organization largely depends on two significant resources—people and technology—and how they work together. It’s critical that managers equip current team members for success through continued coaching and professional development on new skills, processes, and technologies and to understand how to hire the right people for the right roles. These sector leaders will bring Blackbaud’s Skills UP training for managers to bbcon:

  • Wesley Waters—Wake Forest University
  • Ashley Smith—University of Southern California
  • Christine Prete—Diocese of Trenton
  • Frances Beasley—Victory Junction
  • Becky Kimball—Blackbaud

Learn how they have successfully staffed and upskilled their organizations, why focusing on hiring a more diverse workforce is essential for innovation, and different ways to offer new opportunities to team members that support employee retention and organizational success.

There’s more great content throughout bbcon with experts in development, financial management, data and analytics, and more, such as:

  • Artificial Intelligence: Fact vs. Science Fiction
  • CFO Tech Tips: Mastering Gartner’s Digital Imperatives
  • Maximizing Your Analytical Models with Doug Evans of Centre College

Blackbaud Product Update Briefings

Immediately following bbcon, we’re holding Blackbaud product update briefings on Wednesday and Thursday, October 19–20. Get the latest on industry trends, recent innovations, and future enhancements to our leading higher education software solutions. These include but aren’t 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, you won’t want to miss a thing. 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 Higher Education, Fundraising, 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!