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Partnerships and Building Relationships

How to Prepare for the BOOST Conference

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BOOSTERS are you ready for 2017? Last year we asked the BOOST Leadership Team to share their best tips to prepare for the conference. The content was so well received, we wanted to share again! BOOST Conference. This blog is full of their insight, tips, and inspiration! We can’t wait to see you at the #BOOSTConference! #REPOST

I prepare for the conference by going on the website to review the workshops and their description to see which will help to inspire me or will meet a specific need I am hoping to learn more about and get ideas. I look at the schedules to make sure I get the opportunity to go to all the ones I like and have back up workshops in case my first choices are full. I also check out Yelp for the best Palm Springs restaurants to maximize my eating experience while I’m there — every year I try to experience something new.
Marisol Moreno Villegas, Education Coordinator, Options for Learning, Covina CA

  • I always try to book my hotel while I am at BOOST for the next BOOST. That way, I always have a spot at one of the main hotels. I also put it on my schedule in hopes that nothing else gets scheduled at the same time.
  • Keep tabs on the BOOST Conference website. Keynotes and various workshops are always highlighted ahead of time and allow you to plan your conference.
  • Post on Social Media and find out who is attending. I always like to share that I am attending and find out who else is going. That way, I can schedule one-on-one meetings while I am there or plan to attend a colleague’s workshop.
  • The rest is simply trying to stay healthy and getting pumped for the conference.
    Shawn Petty, Technical Assistance Manager,
 Edvance Research,
 San Antonio, TX

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Make sure to bring extra business cards! Also, leave room in your suitcase for fun finds at the VillageFest Street Fair.
Julie Sesser, Specialist, ASAPconnect, San Jose, CA

  • I hit up my folks from the Northwest and other parts of the country to make sure they’re coming down to Palm Springs.
  • Begin coordinating dates to meet, network and kick-it with friends and colleagues.
  • Map out organizational training needs and begin flagging sessions that support these needs.
  • Strategize, with our team that is attending, about how to spread out at the conference and come back together to share information.
  • Calendar debrief and share-out meetings following the conference.
    Zach Wilson, Director of Staff Development, LA’s BEST/LAUSD, Los Angeles, CA

You don’t have to wait until you get to BOOST to connect with other attendees, presenters, and exhibitors. Start a conversation on our social media pages (Twitter and Facebook), blog, or our conference app and discuss workshop/session topics, things to do in Palm Springs, or what exhibitors you are going to meet with. Don’t forget to use #boostconference2017 in your posts. See you in April!
Tia Quinn, Founder & CEO, BOOST Collaborative, San Diego, CA

  • Staff reviews the BOOST Conference Brochure and as a team we pick what workshops the staff will attend so we don’t all go to the same workshops.
  • A staff agenda is created for meet up times between workshops. The meetings serve as a way to debrief, share what was learned in a workshop and answer any logistics questions on the day.
  •  EduCare does a friendly competition to encourage networking. Last year the person who met and connected with the most people got a Starbucks gift card.
  • We pair experienced staff with inexperienced staff as roommates.
  • We plan a team dinner with ice-breakers and to encourage the staff to connect.
    George A. Hernandez, Vice President of After School Programs, EduCare Foundation, Van Nuys, CA

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I like to connect with folks who will be at the conference to find a time to talk in person while we are there.
Jaime Singer, Senior Consultant, 
American Institutes for Research, 
Chicago, IL

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions, BOOST(ERS) are super helpful.
  • Try to map out your sessions in advance (and I mean use the map, it can get confusing), and have at least 1 or 2 backup choices, they fill up.
  • Get ready for a GREAT, MOTIVATING, and UPLIFTING Experience. I am FOREVER a BOOST Community Member!!!
    Nicole Baitx-Kennedy, Child Care Supervisor, Ocean View School District, Huntington Beach, CA

Make a point to meet new people. Introduce yourself to the people at your table. Ask people about where they work and what they like about BOOST. If you have an extra seat at your table, invite someone to sit with you. Walk, swim, dance, and move. There can be a lot of sitting during the conference so make time to move your body. Your brain needs the break and the physical activity may actually help you pay attention during the workshops.
ElizaBeth Parker Phillips, Program Development Director, Child Development, Inc., Sacramento, CA

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Keep your phones inside your bags and pockets during sessions. It’s not good session etiquette if you are on your phones while the presenter is offering you valuable information. You might miss the best part!
Julia Gabor, Director of Education, WRiTE BRAiN World, Los Angeles, CA

Keep an open mind and believe that every single participant is on your team. We are all setting each other up to succeed.
Carola Secada, Consultant, Los Angeles, CA

There are so many amazing things to do at BOOST. Simplify your life by finding two or three things every day that you must do/see/learn, whether it’s a workshop, a film or a networking event, and get there early so you get a great seat. Then, let the rest of the day flow more freely and soak up all the positive energy and creativity.
Elizabeth Crist Darby, Nonprofit Consultant, Strategist and Trainer, ECD Strategies, Indianapolis, IN

I like BOOST because the workshops are innovative and the attendees are positive and creative thinkers. I try to find workshops to attend that are on issues and tactics that are new and unfamiliar to me but related to my focus on healthy out-of-school time. I also make time as I plan to share cool things I learn with teammates back home. I love attending BOOST and want to ensure the great ideas are passed on to others at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
Daniel Hatcher, National Healthy Out-of-School Time Advisor, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Washington DC

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BOOST is a major component of arc’s professional development process. It is the best place to see state and national best practices and improve the quality of our product! Six months before BOOST our Executive Team meets to discuss how many people we will be sending to BOOST. Typically we send 18-22 staff. Being selected as one of those twenty is a process and honor. Two months prior to BOOST our Director of After School puts out and internal RFP, a request for staff to share with the Leadership Team why they should be selected to represented arc at BOOST this year. Staff are asked to include in their proposal successes from the fall semester, history with arc and their professional growth focus. As part of the application process, staff must go to the BOOST website and review the sessions. Their proposal must define which sessions they plan to attend and how that ties to their personal and site continuous improvement plan.
Brad Lupien,Co-Founder and Co-President,
arc, Inglewood, CA

Watch the trailers that will be featured at the Film Festival and decide which films you want to see and engage in conversation about. Look ahead to the Master Classes offered. These are a great opportunity to dive deeper with world-class experts. Pre-purchase books from authors you want to meet and have the opportunity to get your booked signed.
Kristin Stayer, Breakfast Club Executive Chef, BOOST Collaborative, San Diego, CA

Make plans for how you’ll bring back what you learned to your team. BOOST draws after-school professionals from around the country; it’s a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from outside your day-to-day. Set up coffee dates in advance with a few folks who are presenting on interesting topics, whose blogs you read, or who you met last time.
Corey Newhouse Founder and Principal, Public Profit, Oakland, CA

How are you preparing? We would love to hear from you! Share with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Not registered yet? No problem! Registration will be available on-site at the rate of $595 starting on Tuesday, April 18th at 9:30am in the Palm Springs Convention Center Lobby.

Author Profile: @boost-collaborative

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BOOST Collaborative is a unique, purpose-driven organization committed to supporting those serving youth in the out-of-school time hours by providing quality professional development, opportunities for networking & partnerships, and leadership training. Together, we make a difference.

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