iCon or User Group? Alexis Bushman by Alexis Bushman Alexis Bushman Marketing Communications Manager Read time: That is the question. Chances are, you’re more familiar with user groups than iCon—perhaps because your state has one. User groups are valuable statewide conferences where thousands of Skyward users gather to learn and share ideas each year. So how are they different than iCon? And if you already attend a user group, should you attend iCon too? Let’s take a look at what makes iCon different, so you can decide if it’s the right fit for you. International: At user groups, you get a chance to interact with people from around your state. This is especially helpful when it comes to discussing state-specific requirements and practices. The “i” in “iCon” stands for international. iCon attracts Skyward users from across the country and around the globe (think Colombia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia…). You’ll get to network with all of these users, sharing stories and challenges and learning from one another’s processes and solutions. Different types of sessions: If you’re looking to dive into granular details of the Skyward solution, user groups are the place to be. On the flip side, the session lineup at iCon offers higher-level instruction. This year’s conference, for instance, features topics like “Disaster Recovery Planning: Define Your What If Strategy,” “Preparing Parents for the Future,” and “Collaboration & Development: Budget Entry.” Plus, some sessions are district-led—and that presenter could be you! If you’d like to learn more about sharing your story with the districts in attendance, learn more in this call for presenters. (Note: Presenters get free iCon registration!) District leader networking: iCon attendees are typically district administrators and Skyward champions, so there’s no better place to make connections and share ideas. Again, there are leaders from around the world in attendance. You’re sure to find people who face the same challenges you do, and you’re sure to discover some innovative solutions! Executive networking and one-on-one time with staff: Most of the Skyward executive team, higher management, and owners attend iCon. If you’d like to chat with them, iCon is a perfect opportunity. We also hold one-on-one sessions to give you time with the Skyward team; bring questions and get personalized recommendations on how you can use Skyward more effectively. Be sure to sign up for a slot early, as these appointments always fill up! Three days of learning: User groups are generally two days of learning and networking. iCon lasts for three days. This year’s conference will take place February 26 to 28. And we’d be remiss not to mention the location: the beautiful TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Florida! 🏝 To get an even clearer picture of what attending iCon looks like, check out this recap post from last year’s event. Or watch this video, which takes you behind the scenes of the conference. Want to learn more about attending a user group? Check out this post highlighting the user group experience. iCon, User Group, or Both? Decide for yourself with the help of this infographic! (Download the PDF here.) If iCon seems like a great fit for you, click here to reserve your spot. We look forward to seeing you in February! Heading to a user group? Be sure to check out these five tips for a great user group experience. Alexis Bushman Marketing Communications Manager Share this story: Want tips, tricks, and feature updates delivered to your inbox once a month? Sign up here!