Networking Opportunities

A highlight of every Midwinter Conference is seeing friends and colleagues from across the state to catch up, learn from each other, and network. We all need to connect! How we do that at the 2021 virtual conference will be a bit different than at an in-person conference, but you will find a number of ways to engage with fellow attendees through our online conference platform.

One-on-One Connections

At an in-person conference, it can be such a treat to run into a friend from another district in the hotel lobby, on the exhibit hall floor, or in the registration line. These opportunities spur unanticipated collaborations and conversations that stick with you long after the conference. This year, you have a couple of options for connecting one-on-one with fellow Midwinter attendees — without ever having to leave the comfort of your office chair!

Designated Networking Area

In the 2021 online conference platorm, you’ll find a designated Network area (easily accessible from the main navigation). It is a place where you can “bump into” other conference attendees and have short conversations and share contact info, if you choose.

How it Works

When you click on the Network area, you’ll automatically and randomly be paired with another colleague for up to 3 minutes. For a connection to be made, at least two attendees must be in the Networking area at the same time. 

When to Visit

The Networking area is a great place to go prior to the start of each conference day or in-between scheduled sessions.

Why Try It?

It’s random, peer-to-peer interaction that’s in short supply during this pandemic!

Personal Invitation

In the online conference platform chat, you will find a “People” tab that allows you to send a private, direct message to any registered attendee in the platform.

How it Works

Choose the person you’d like to meet with virtually, then click the “Invite to video call” button under their name. Although this is labeled a video call within the conference platform, it essentially creates a link to a private space that is accessible at a later time and only to those with whom you share it.

How to Get a Group Together

Once you invite one conference attendee using the “Invite to video call” button, you can invite up to four colleagues by simply copying and pasting the invitation link in a direct message to invite others.

Why Try It?

It’s a great way to organize meetups, whether they’re with just one colleague or a small group!


Group Gatherings

At certain times during the conference, you’ll have the opportunity to join scheduled networking sessions organized around specific leadership roles and topics. Or, if you don’t see a networking session that fits your need, you can create your own!

Superintendent & Aspiring Superintendent Networking Rooms

Superintendents and participants of TASA’s Aspiring Superintendents Academy who are also registered for Midwinter will have exclusive access to special networking rooms and sessions at the times and dates listed below. If you are in either group, simply go to the Sessions area in the online conference platform at the dates/times listed below to enter these rooms/sessions.

These networking rooms are designed to give you the chance to network with others in a similar role as you or those facing similar challenges. It’s a great time to share practices and resources, brainstorm, or just talk through the myriad obstacles left behind by 2020.

Superintendents Only

Peer Networking Rooms
8-9 a.m. each day of the conference +
2-2:30 p.m., Tues, Jan 26

Special Concurrent Session Facilitated by Jeremy Thompson, Ponder ISD
11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Mon, Jan 25 (immediately following Opening General Session)

Special Concurrent Session Facilitated by Doug Williams, Sunnyvale ISD
10-10:45 a.m., Wed, Jan 27 (immediately preceding the Closing General Session)

Aspiring Superintendents Academy Participants Only

Peer Networking Rooms
8-9 a.m. each day of the conference +
2-2:30 p.m., Tues, Jan 26

Create Your Own Session

Unlike the rooms you can create through personal invitation (see above), this is a chance for you to create an “open house” for all interested attendees.

How it Works

At the top right of the Sessions area screen is a red button for “+Create Session.” Create your own, name it, and give it a description, and it’ll appear in the Sessions area. Anyone in the conference may join. Up to 20 people can be on camera (and part of the live conversation) at one time, and as people rotate off the screen, other attendees can jump on in their place.


Why Try It?

If you want to hear some new and different perspectives from colleagues across the state, this is a great option!


Online Platform Quick Reference Guide

Learn more about the interactive platform
designed especially for online events and conferences
that TASA is using for the 2021 Midwinter Conference.

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