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How To Justify Attending a Frontline Conference

Frontline

Getting approval to attend a conference isn’t always easy, especially with tight district budgets. And if you do get the go-ahead, you want to make the most of the event!

In a recent survey, your peers and attendees of last year’s shared their top tips for getting approval to attend the conference — and wowing their district with their experience when they returned!

What Are the Top Obstacles?

First, let’s lay out the reality of the situation. Getting to a conference is not always easy! Frontline Live attendees told us that the top obstacles to attending a conference are the following:

•  Cost
•  Time Spent Out of the Office
•  Travel
•  District Approval

Most of these objections probably don’t surprise you, and you’ve possibly faced similar objections to professional development opportunities. The good news is that many district professionals, just like you, have made the case to go and proven it worth it! Here’s how.

What Are the Greatest Selling Points?

We asked, “What was the biggest selling point in convincing your district you should attend Frontline Live?”

Hands down, the knowledge and training on Aesop and VeriTime (together, now Frontline Absence & Time) took the cake. But here are some specific arguments attendees used that worked:

Just Starting a Product

If your district has just started with Aesop or VeriTime, you know that you have a lot to learn! Maybe you completed training, but now that you’re using the system you have some questions. Or maybe you’re still in training and want to ask other districts how they’re using the system. Either way, now is a great time to expand your knowledge and start off strong with the systems at your district.

Brandy Ashford
Fayette County Public Schools

“Aesop is fairly new to our district, and it was very beneficial for them and myself to have someone go and find out more about the system and how it works.”

Considering a New Product

Are you thinking about getting Aesop or VeriTime, but haven’t decided yet? Not only will you get to see the in’s and out’s of the systems, but you’ll get to talk to lots of other districts who are actually using the products and can give you honest feedback on the systems.

Wendy Rochester
Park County School District

“We are looking to go to an electric timekeeping system, and since I already use Aesop and love it, we were interested in learning more about VeriTime.”

New to Your Position

Did you just start at your district or just recently got managing Aesop added to your plate? That happens a lot! The Frontline Live conference is a great opportunity for you to get a “crash course” in using Aesop so you feel confident in your new responsibilities.

Lauren Nafziger
Northwest Ohio ESC

“I am new to Aesop, so this was the easiest, fastest way to get more training.”

Not Using a System to Its Fullest Potential

As more and more features are added to Aesop and VeriTime, many districts realize they’re not using them to their full potential. The more you know about using the systems, the more value your district gets from those tools! You’ll get information on things like absence approvals, going paperless, getting the best subs through skill matching, increasing fill rates, reporting for ACA, integration with payroll, comp time, and so much more!

Beth Long
Calhoun County

“After 10 years of using Aesop as merely a sub-finder, it was time for someone in our district to learn all that the system can do.”

Deborah Asta
Westerville City Schools

“There is so much Aesop offers and so little of it we utilized. That is going to change here.” 

Affordable Care Act

Is your district prepared for the new regulations under the Affordable Care Act? The room was packed at our session on the ACA, how districts should prepare, and what Aesop and VeriTime can do to help you.

Networking

A conference is such a valuable opportunity to share ideas and learn from other districts who face the same challenges and use the same systems you do. In addition to networking with your peers, you’ll have the opportunity to meet many of the Frontline Technologies employees and get answers face-to-face to the questions that keep you up at night!

Maggie Lichtenberg
Urbandale Community School District

“I wanted a chance to sit down and go over things face to face. The 1-on-1 [with a client services specialist] was awesome!” 

How Do You Make the Most of It?

While you’ll have a great time playing Ping-Pong and shooting Nerf guns at the conference, most of you will have to show that you received more value than just that! With a full agenda of informative sessions, proving the value won’t be a challenge but here are some of the ways attendees recommend you make the most of the event.

Attend as Many Sessions as You Can

The breakout sessions are the real “meat and potatoes” of the Frontline Live event. Attend as many as you can and, if possible, stay through the entire event so you don’t miss anything! If you have more than one member from your team attending, make sure you split up so you can cover even more material together.

Meg Harkonen

Bloomfield Hills School District

“Attend even the classes that you may think you have a good understanding of, as there are often parameters or changes that you may have missed. Come prepared with a wish list and listen to instructors and other districts’ implementation strategies.” 

Come Prepared

Review the agenda and sessions ahead of time on your own or with your team so you know which features and topics will benefit you and your district the most. Especially look if there are features of the system that you’re not familiar with that could help you do your job better!

Pam Davis
Southwest Licking Local Schools

“The more you know before attending, the more it makes comprehending all of the information available easier.” 

Ask Questions

If you want specific help with issues you’re facing, come prepared with your questions! Whether in a related session, in a 1-on-1 with a Frontline employee, or in casual conversation, make sure you get those big questions answered. And don’t be afraid to ask questions that come to mind during the sessions, too!

Suzanne Schleyer
Lamphere School District

“Ask as many questions as you have; that is the only way you will find out the answer.” 

Network

Attendees said one of the best ways to get value from the conference is to network, network, network! Other districts are facing the same challenges you are and maybe have already found a way to solve them! The more you reach out, the more you’ll learn from others and build relationships that will last beyond the event.

Dolly Bina
ISD 728 Elk River Area Schools

“Network with other users. Offer suggestions to others who may have similar needs, but may be using the system slightly differently or are newer users. It really helps to know that current obstacles in your world have been overcome by others!”

Talk to the Frontline Employees

Talk to other districts but also talk to the Frontline Team! We’re all there because we want to meet you. Don’t be bashful please say “hi,” ask us your questions, and if you have more specific needs, set up a 1-on-1 meeting with a specialist. You won’t regret it!

Lexie Hayes
Wrangell Public Schools

“Utilize the Frontline employees. Even just chit-chatting with them outside of the conference rooms was hugely helpful. They are all very knowledgeable and very approachable.”

Participate in Activities

Don’t forget to relax! Take time to enjoy the games and activities, win prizes, and enjoy some downtime to let everything sink in. You’ll learn a lot, but we want you to have a good time doing it.

Melissa Martin
Loveland City Schools

“Making it fun and entertaining really allowed me to pay more attention and get a lot more out of the conference.”

Hope to See You There!

I hope all this talk is getting you excited to attend a Frontline Live event. We certainly hope to see you there!

Allison Wert

Allison (Ali) Wert is the Content Marketing Manager of the award-winning content team at Frontline Education. She has been writing about education topics for nearly 10 years and specializes in best practices for K-12 strategic human capital management. Under her leadership, the team at Frontline was recognized as the Winner of CMA's 2017 Project of the Year and Best Content Marketing Program. Ali also helps to manage marketing for the Frontline Research & Learning Institute and The Line.