Thanks to everyone who attended BRAINSTORM 2016! For us, this is a big event – everyone here loves the energy, the engagement, the enthusiasm and the simple act of putting a face to a voice! Everyone here gets involved in one way or another, from designing and delivering sessions to being a bus counselor for the trips to and from the restaurant on Thursday night (hey, we all have something we excel at :)).
After last year’s event, we really debated the size for 2016. Should we move to a larger location and make it a bigger conference? There are certainly advantages to that but we chose to stay and keep the size the same. I am glad we did. I know that more people wanted to attend. But, having the ability to offer one-on-one meetings to everyone, to keep the atmosphere lighter, less hotel-meeting-room-like and to be able to connect with everyone mattered most to us. In camp terms, we were able to maintain a really strong camper-to-staff ratio (less than 5 to 1).
If you were not able to attend, here are some quick facts:
- we sold out (150 attendees, from 100 camps, schools and conference centers, representing 30+ states and provinces)
- 29 sessions over 8 periods and 2 days
- 3 panels with camps providing their expertise
- Several sessions focused on future software development and obtaining valuable feedback on key features
- A LOT of one-on-one meetings with our team
- An Open House at our office and a night at The Amsterdam Brew House on the lake
We surveyed those who attended afterward and here are the rankings of various elements (on a scale of 1 to 5, 5 being the highest/best):
- Venue (4.7)
- Food (4.2)
- Social nights (4.5 for Weds and 4.3 for Thurs)
- Valuable learning experience (4.5)
- Organized and well-run (4.8)
- Feeling cared for (4.8)
I love that we got a 60+% return rate on the survey (maybe more to come!) and I find it amazing how close the results were to last year’s event. Thanks so much for the detailed comments and suggestions as well – we have categorized things so that we can continue to iterate and improve the event!