The Value of Attending the 2018 SNUG National Users’ Group Conference
With the continued emphasis on doing more with less in our districts, travel and training are often among the first items to be cut from budgets. However, even during these difficult financial times, training, networking, and professional development are among the most important aspects of maintaining a balanced and efficient workforce. This belief drives SNUG board members, volunteers, and PowerSchool subject matter experts to work throughout the year to develop a quality training and learning experience for SNUG members.
The following tips have been created to illustrate the value of attending the SNUG training conference and the long term value it can bring to your organization.
Conference Location and Schedule
The SNUG 2018 conference will be held October 8th-11th in Tucson, Arizona. On Monday, October 8th, PowerSchool will provide detailed half day and full day Pre-Conference training classes at very attractive rates, followed by a PowerSchool hosted opening reception. The SNUG conference kicks off Tuesday morning, October 9th, 2018 and runs through mid-day Thursday, October 11th, 2018.
SNUG Conference Value
Take advantage of the training and focus on the efficient use of the software throughout the sessions.
- Over 180 training sessions held over a three day period where you learn from product experts and experienced users.
- More than 50 PowerSchool trainers, product developers, and executives in attendance, all available and willing to consult with you one-on-one.
- Opportunity to network with hundreds of other software users, to discuss common issues, hear how they have resolved issues, and learn new and innovative ways others are using the system(s).
- Learn firsthand about PowerSchool future technological trends and directions.
- Discover and learn about new features available.
- Opportunity to provide input into future software application enhancements directly to product executives.
- Sessions designed to maximize your software and hardware investments.
- Hands on training provided via BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) sessions.
- Organized on‑site professional networking sessions.
- One-on-one pre-arranged consultations with PowerSchool staff.
- Direct interaction with exhibitors who will be participating in the conference.
- Exhibitor sessions built into the conference schedule.
- Ability to print the conference schedule as well as an attendee transcript/schedule before, during, or after the conference.
- Learn what to do and not to do while using your system(s) straight from other users. This learning can be invaluable!
Cost vs. Value
Let’s put the return on investment (ROI) into this equation and – evaluate the value provided and versus the dollars spent.
Your registration fee gives you access to $3,125 in training and additional values;
- Three breakfasts included in registration fee (Tues., Wed., and Thur.)
- Two lunches included in registration fee (Tues. and Wed.)
- Refreshment breaks included in registration fee (Tues, Wed)
- Early registration discount, $100 value.
- Volunteers who present a session receive discounted registration, $295 value.
- Two evening networking receptions included in registration fee which include food, beverages, and transportation to the event if occurring off-site. $150 value.
- A combined hotel/meeting facility within UBER distance of convenient public transportation, eliminating the need for car rental and parking fees, $225 value.
How to Develop Your Request to Attend the Conference
In addition to the values shown above, feedback from previous attendees have identified a number of items that can help provide additional benefit to your organization.
1. Print the conference schedule and highlight all the sessions that are of benefit to your district, noting how the district will benefit from those sessions.
2. Document the intangible benefits to your organization of being able to have such a wide variety of training for one low cost as opposed to having to pay for each type of training separately.
3. List specific items you intend to accomplish while in attendance. For example:
- Resolution of current issues your organization may be experiencing.
- Getting a jump start on planning the implementation of an upgrade or new feature of the software.
- Finding out how other users have implemented a portion of the system your district is considering using or getting ready to use.
- Developing relationships with other K-12 educational sites to collaborate with in the future.
- Clearly state your training goals in active terms. Identify training topics that will help to maximize ROI for systems used to run critical areas of your organization. Describe the synergy gained between you and your organization's employees, and the software you use on a daily basis.
- Reinforce your willingness to bring your new found information back to your organization and share it with your supervisor and co-workers.
The Three Perks of Attending a SNUG Conference
Professional – Attending a SNUG Conference may lead to new alternatives that you didn’t know were possible or haven’t yet explored. The practical skills you learn will increase effectiveness and efficiency within your organization. You can avoid implementation, process and/or project management pitfalls experienced by other users, potentially saving your organization time, money and stress, which is especially important during these times of fixed budgets and waning resources.
Personal – Attending a SNUG Conference can help you grow in your career. It will augment your professional training. It may provide a stage for you to showcase your skills. It may even allow you to overcome a fear of public speaking and reveal gifts you didn’t even know you had. You may receive continuing education credits for your particular area such as CPA, APA, etc.
Productive – Attending a SNUG Conference allows you to network professionally among your peers, and develop valuable long time helpful career contacts.