We've titled this event the "Effective Education Partnerships Conference." It's intended to bring together the various stakeholders in business/education partnerships, including businesspeople, coalition leaders and members (such as chambers of commerce, roundtables, independent partnership groups), school leaders, and other players to share case studies and practical tips on building and maintaining effective partnerships.
The emphasis is on the practical: we want attendees to leave the conference with a long list of things they can take home and immediately apply to their local efforts. And we want to present diverse voices, from both inside and outside the schools, so that attendees can hear the perspectives of various people involved in the typical partnership.
Based in large part on input from people in the field, we have identified the following major themes for this conference:
- Managing Resources – How to identify, acquire, and manage resources effectively; how to maximize the impact of the resources you have; how to minimize operational and program expenses; and how to measure the return on the resources you invest in your programs.
- Building Effective Partnerships – How to identify and approach prospective partners of all stripes (businesses, coalitions, higher education, foundations, internal partners, etc.), and how to nurture and grow those relationships over time.
- Designing and Managing Projects – How to build and manage effective projects, which is distinct from partnership issues. This includes setting desired outcomes prior to project design (this includes both educational and partner-oriented outcomes), how to tap into available research to guide the design of your project, how to track activity and measure outcomes, and how to build sustainable programs.
The conference will be held in Fairfax, Virginia (just a few miles from downtown Washington DC) on July 10th and 11th of next year. We expect attendance between 300 and 400 professionals working in the area of community/school partnerships.
A few details on our progress:
- We now have a conference website at www.eepc2008.com. Right now it's just a contact page, but we'll be posting more information as it's available.
- We're close to selecting our site - it's between three hotels in Fairfax VA (just outside of DC), all of which would be fantastic hosts. We'll have this nailed down by early next month.
- We've just released a call for presenters - click here to download information on hosting a session.
- We've also put together our sponsorship package - contact me if you'd like to learn more about the national visibility you can receive by supporting this event.
There's much more in the works, including announcements of keynote speakers and more details on the event - stay tuned!