Top 3 Takeaways from TABS 2018
By Drew Millikin | December 5, 2018
Recently, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS) held their annual conference from November 29 – December 1 in Washington D.C. With over 115 individual sessions packed into an intensive day-and-a-half, it was a short, but content-rich professional development opportunity. This year, myself and Bill Miles, CEO of Vidigami, had the chance to exhibit and touch base with our network of boarding schools.
Here are our 3 big takeaways from the show…
1 – The North American Boarding Initiative (NABI)
As controversial as The North American Boarding Initiative (NABI) was when it was introduced 4 years ago, it remains, well, controversial. That being said, it is also producing some powerful data that schools are using in their marketing efforts. Western Reserve Academy from Ohio, for example, used data gleaned from NABI in crafting the messaging behind their “Your Second Home” video.
2 – Data is everywhere
Speaking of data, this year, data seems to be everywhere. On my count, nearly 20 sessions included the term “data” or “analytics”. Today, schools are beginning to use data in areas that we wouldn’t normally expect. While they have been using data to drive enrolment strategies for some time, they are now also using it to drive decisions around areas such as student mental health and wellness, curriculum development, student life initiatives, and faculty retention. Benchmarking is no longer a tool only used for setting tuition!
While we’re on the topic of data, we couldn’t ask for better timing to relaunch our Insights feature (see our December Product Release Summary). This is an exciting development for us and our administrative users. We can now give schools a better way to track and drive engagement in Vidigami, using key stats around user activity like media uploads to albums and face tags, while getting a bird’s eye view on total activation progress throughout the school year – a must-have metric to monitor how quickly the app is getting adopted by the community and in full swing.
3 – Schools love (and need) the right tools
While at TABS, we also got to tag-team with our friends from REACH Boarding, a definite Allstar at the show! Together with Brian Murray, Director of REACH North America, we hosted a little post-TABS REACH-Vidigami MashUp event to mingle with our users, new schools, and hear their stories. As always, it was a joy to hear from so many happy customers. Everywhere we turned we were bumping into one of our member schools, all eager to share how their school was using our platforms and how much time and effort they saved them.
For example, here’s a chat we had with Mark Siegel, Assistant Headmaster, and Rachel Karl, Head of Advancement, from The Delphian School (HUGE fans!). We’re so grateful for their feedback!
And with that, another brilliant year to wrap up!
Wishing you all Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and looking forward to seeing everyone from TABS again next year!
P.S. A big congratulations to the retired Head of School, Mike Mulligan, of the Thacher School in Ojai, California, a member of the Vidigami community and recipient of this year’s prestigious Ruzicka Compass Leadership Award! Way to go!
About Drew Millikin: Having spent 15 years working in admissions and advancement in both higher education and independent schools, Drew spent countless hours searching for photos on various servers and archives. Now, he’s helping the Vidigami Pros at our schools to successfully organize and share their content for marketing and communications, advancement efforts, and more.