Case Studies

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION (PIE) CONFERENCE
An annual professional development and networking experience for general and special education professionals from across Tennessee.

The Tennessee Department of Education’s annual Partners in Education (PIE) Conference draws 2000+ Tennessee educators for 3.5 days of motivational speakers, instructional sessions based on best-practices, industry exhibitions, and networking opportunities. The goal of this conference is to bring general and special education professionals together to increase inclusiveness in Tennessee schools.

In 2013, the Tennessee Department of Education sought a partner who could oversee all facets of this annual event while scaling it to accommodate the event’s growing attendance based on the interest of Tennessee educators. Since partnering with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Literacy, Education, and Employment (UTK-CLEE) Event Team, annual attendance has increased 40%, registration revenue has increased 400%, and exhibitor participation and revenue have increased 100%.

2020 Institute for CTE Educators virtual event

The Institute for CTE Educators is hosted by the Tennessee Department of Education specifically for career and technical education teachers and leaders from across the state. Institute is designed to engage attendees in professional development and training through sessions, workshops, and networking opportunities so they can prepare students to meet the demands of the postsecondary path of their choosing. The University of Tennessee’s Center for Literacy, Education & Employment (UTK-CLEE) has supported this event since 2017.

In the spring of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic removed the opportunity to host face to face events, the UTK-CLEE Event Team was asked to help redesign the Institute for CTE Educators so it could be presented completely virtually. Using a virtual conference platform and blending live and recorded elements, Institute was able to provide attendees with a variety of sessions, networking opportunities, and exhibitor interactions.

The 2020 Virtual Institute for CTE Educators saw a 72% increase in registration, a 74% increase in attendance, and an 84% decrease in expenses. 95% of the attendees who completed the post-event survey were satisfied or very satisfied with the 2020 Institute platform, structure and agenda, communications, and exhibitor directory. Many attendees preferred the virtual format and said they would be interested in attending a fully virtual Institute in the future.

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