This year will be my third Ed-Fi Summit & Bootcamp. I had just started at Ed-Fi when we hosted the Summit in 2016, and last year I led our team in the planning efforts. What I loved about last year’s Summit was that I really got to know more of our community members and experienced first-hand what a dedicated and fun group we have!
I was surprised to learn that people had Ed-Fi license plates! I was surprised to learn that some people were so determined to attend the Summit that they drove across country to be at our event! And I was surprised to learn that we had some die hard music fans that love to karaoke! Ultimately, what I learned is that we have a pretty cool group of people that are dedicated to Ed-Fi, and there is plenty of room for veterans and newbies within the Ed-Fi Community.
At the conclusion of the Summit last year I did some analysis on our attendee profiles; because that’s what we do here, call it DDE, data driven events.
This is what the numbers showed:
- For 38% of attendees it was their first ever Ed-Fi Summit, which means 62% of the attendees were alumni.
- We had an almost equal mix of ed-tech vendors and educators; with 45% of attendees identifying as educators and 44% as vendors. Having both voices represented has a huge impact.
- Of the self-identified educators, 62% were from Local Education Agencies and 34% were from State Agencies and about 4% were classified as other, likely charters or collaboratives.
- The satisfaction survey given at the end of the Summit concluded that, the number one priority of attendees and the number one value that the Summit provided is the opportunity for peer-to-peer networking.
All of these metrics lead me to conclude that the Summit is successful in its purpose because it brings together the right mix of people, at the right time with compelling content centered around the Ed-Fi Community.
This is why picking the right space for our meeting is my top priority going into the new year. When you have a comfortable space that facilitates a great meeting, the venue itself is in the background while the focus is on the people and content.
Which is why I am thrilled to let you know that the 2018 Ed-Fi Summit & Bootcamp will be held October 9-12 at the Hilton Austin! This is a fantastic hotel that is uniquely built to host groups of our size. The meeting rooms are large and light-filled and the location, in the heart of downtown Austin, couldn’t be better. But wait, that’s not all, there’s more!
The Summit will be the week between the first and second weekends of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, welcome news for the aforementioned music fans! Also, because the mix of vendors to educators is very important to us, we’ve asked the Hilton to extend government agency pricing on room rates for public employees, making attendance more accessible for educators on tight budgets. One other change from last year is that the hands-on technical Bootcamp will be after the Summit. We’ve flipped it this year in hopes that attendees new to Ed-Fi will have ample time to ramp up before attending the more technical sessions of the Bootcamp.
As always, I’d love to hear your ideas and thoughts on the Summit! If you have feedback, ways to improve it or things you want to see this year, please reach out. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Up next, we’ll be issuing our Call for Papers, so start thinking about the learnings and experiences you’d like to share at the Summit–see you October 9-12 at the Hilton Austin!