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):
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!
Here is a flavour of what people said in the survey responses:
It was amazing! So great to meet the voices on the other end of our phone calls and emails. What a great company – love your values and product!
― Karen Manlove, Pilgrim Pines Camp and Conference Center
It was excellent from the education to the food. You outdid yourself. I felt it was money well spent. I liked that the sessions are short and that some are offered more than once at different times. I loved the panel discussion at lunch when we were asked about our challenges. Asking us for our feedback and listening is golden and it shows that you really care what we think.
― Kim Ausel, Camp Christopher
It was a great size, I felt like I left knowing others. I have already reached out to one of the camps that was on the Reporting Panel.
― Alberta Culbreath, Camp Crusader
The conference was well-run. There were many different topics covered, so it was helpful for camps new to Camp Brain as well as ones who have been using it for years. It was also great to have the opportunity to talk with other users and get their ideas. I look forward to attending again.
― Donna Basler, Channel 3 Kids Camp
I was very impressed with the organization of the conference, the correspondence leading up to it and with the presence of the staff. Everyone was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and very approachable. Thanks for everything!
― Sam Butcher, Onondaga Camp
The greatest asset of CampBrain, besides their elegant software, is their supremely talented and hospitable staff. Everyone was welcoming and interested in talking and learning from the other conference attendees. Their love of their product is evident. Seeing so many long-time clients as well as first-time clients at the conference was evidence that CampBrain has both a solid foundation of support and a vibrant energy to propel them – and the camps they support – to an exciting new frontier in camp administration.
― Kim Newton, St. Anne's-Belfield School
We are brand new to CampBrain. This conference was a great way for me to get a better understanding on all of the things CampBrain can do and ways it can work for Seeker Springs. I really enjoyed the sessions where we could here from other camps and their tips and tricks for making CampBrain work for them. All of the CampBrain staff were super nice and helpful and having a chance to have one-on-one time with a staff member was especially great! I could definitely see the passion the staff has for camp!
― Britney Wheat, Seeker Springs Ministry
It was useful to have my questions answered during a one on one session as well as being introduced to the conference center module. The conference helped me learn new ways to be more efficient within the software and break old habits I had picked up.
― Matt Hill, Camp Kintail
Even though we have not yet switched over to the web based version, the conference was still very beneficial. We were able to learn a lot so that when the time comes that we do make the switch, we feel more comfortable and are prepared for the transition.