BRAINSTORM 2018 Recap
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
It goes by so fast. Another BRAINSTORM in the books. It’s amazing how you work so hard for so long, planning every detail, ensuring that everything is taken care of, and just like that, it’s done. BRAINSTORM is truly an “all hands on deck” event with every single person at CampBrain contributing in one way or another….and it is truly a labour of love. For us, BRAINSTORM is one of those events where you cherish every second. It is the highlight of the CampBrain calendar.
We took a new approach this year – less lecture-style sessions and more group discussions, panel discussions, and hands-on workshops. We also introduced a series of sessions that we called the “new user series”. Relinquishing a bit of the “control” one has in a lecture-style and embracing a bit of a less structured, more open style felt like a bit of a risk. There were no guarantees but we wanted to apply our learnings from prior conferences and take a slightly different approach to enable more deep learning. Judging by the feedback (see below), I think the team hit it out of the park!
I want to acknowledge that we had a very long waitlist this year. I am really sorry that we were not able to accommodate everyone that wanted to attend. We have made a deliberate decision to keep the conference smaller, more personal with the ability to connect with each attendee. If you were one of the folks on the waitlist, I hope you understand. For all those on the waitlist this year, you get first crack at registration for 2019!
For those who couldn’t make it to BRAINSTORM, here is a quick summary of our days:
- 140 people from 81 camps, schools and conference centers attended from Canada and the US.
- 24 amazing sessions, made up of 12 lectures & demos, 5 group discussions, 4 workshops, 2 panel discussions, and 1 focus group.
- 83 people played the trivia game , to see “Who is the True Camp Brain?” (spoiler, it was Matt, from Pearce Williams Christian Center!); by the way, this would be a fun game to play at your staff training (if you allow phones at that time!).
- We packed La Maquette, having a full dinner, open bar, caricature portraits, photo booths, and many other games; it was a special night.
- Everyone who requested a one-on-one with a Brainer, received one.
What You Said
A common theme at the conference was feedback. It’s critical to receive feedback in order to understand what you are doing right and what you need to improve on. We ask for a lot of feedback and its incredibly valuable for us as we look for(the theme of our opening presentation rested on the concept of Kaizen).
Thank you to all who have provided feedback. Let’s take a look at the responses, each of the items below are rated on a scale of 1-5, 1 being “not so good”, and 5 being “great”.
Venue – 4.9
Valuable Learning Experience - 4.5
Food – 4.6
Well Run & Organized - 4.8
Walking Tour – 4.7
Conference Communication - 4.8
Open House – 4.8
Feeling cared for - 4.9
Thurs Night Social – 4.6
We love hearing the comments about your experience, and we read each and every one of them. Here are some that we would like to share, so you get a sense of what people were thinking:
I really loved how there was a balance between it being campy (in the best way) and really informative, even for a seasoned user. I am amazed at how CampBrain has grown and so impressed with the team in person.
Louise – Tandem Dance & Fitness Studio
I was impressed from start to finish and very glad that I made the effort to attend.
Mari-Beth Crysler - Camp Wabikon
BrainStorm is a great chance for some professional development in a setting that encourages learning and the sharing of resources.
Patrick Tingley – Kilcoo Camp
It's absolutely a great conference, very informative and you definitely walk away with something you can do better in your department with CampBrain. As it's been repeatedly mentioned, all of the CampBrain staff is very nice and helpful, and it's obvious they are happy to be part of such a great team. It's contagious!
Rosanna Rocca – The Schenck School
It is an excellent touch point for us to review, learn something new and make sure we are ready to go with our registration on November 1st! The customer support for Brainers is unparalleled and the conference is an excellent way to get that support in person.
Kim Graydon – Glen Bernard Camp
I love this conference. It is so well organized and run. The Brainers treat us all like we are an extension of their tight knit family. Each year I come away with new ideas and new friends. Thank you all so much for your tireless hours making sure our camp registration process runs so smoothly!
Lisa Gaskin - Camp Claire
Was an enjoyable experience and i definitely was able to pick up little tid bits of information through out. What really made the experience for me was the one on one session. I was able to work down the list of questions our camp had and get better more concise answers. ps. Alison is great!
Cassidy Cisneros - American Youth Foundation-Miniwanca
We could go on and on about BRAINSTORM (and we will at the office!), but if you want to get a look at everything we did at BRAINSTORM, check out our Facebook photo albums.
Thank you to all who helped make BRAINSTORM 2018 such a great success. In particular, a big shout out to Luke in our office – he took on the lead position of bringing the conference together this year and truly delivered! Wanting to continuously improve, we have already started planning for 2019, and hope we will see you there!
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