TBL NLC 2021 Special Edition - 74

Thank You
Thoughts from the Blue Panda Team
about...
VISION FOR NLC
Blue Panda conference management solutions are used by many
FBLA states for managing conferences throughout the year. With
NLC, our goal was to provide a streamlined registration, score
management, and remote judging solution keeping all the data
in one place and reducing the number of systems and steps NLC
users have to go through during the scoring process. From the
time State Key Contacts register competitors for their competitive
events, to eTesting and Judging, and through to Awards,
Blue Panda provides a pipeline specifically designed for FBLA and
guided by over 15 years of FBLA conference experience.
THEIR WORK WITH FBLA
The first version of Blue Panda rolled out in 2005 custom built
for an FBLA state. That was years ago, under a different product
name, and it looked and acted very different than what we have
today. Blue Panda now hosts over 100 conferences and over
70,000 attendees per year. New states have reported saving up
to several hours at on-site conferences after switching to Blue
Panda. We pride ourselves on providing a streamlined process,
specifically tailored to FBLA and CTSO conferences.
We've learned each state we work with, while very similar to
other FBLA states, will have something specific to them that's
different and unique. Our job during onboarding is to figure out
what that is and how to meet that specific and unique need. NLC
was essentially the same, with some practices different than how
state conferences are run. We worked with the National Center
staff to identify these areas that required custom reporting or
new workflows. Specific for NLC this year we quickly put together
a State Key Contact login providing registration access
to all chapters for a state, as well as new scoring import tools,
and a new competitive event administrator role with access
specific to their needs.
COVID-19
In regards to the pandemic, Blue Panda was geared around
in-person student conferences. Of course with the pandemic
that had to change. Over the last year, we rolled out a virtual
conference platform, as well as our new online rating sheet
solution - which provides judges an online score sheet matching
the official rating sheets of FBLA. These rating sheets allowed
states to execute their competitive events at the district and state
level without the paper process of printed or scanned forms. For
NLC this year, over 6000 online rating sheets were completed
and signed off on by the judges and their scores automatically
tabulated. That's a lot of paper. As the pandemic is now winding
down, many states are looking forward to returning to in-person
conferences. For some of those states, online rating sheets will
cut down on paper and time at their in-person conferences. While
the pandemic had a major impact on our business, it was also
an opportunity to grow in new areas, building services that will
continue to adapt and grow as we move into the future. They say
necessity is the mother of invention, and for us that resulted in
tangible new offerings.
ASPIRE
For us, this is a focus on the future, being the best we can be.
Adequate is not sufficient for us.
While our goal is to be a competent provider for the needs of
our conferences, we aspire to be the absolute best in the market.
Adequate is not sufficient for us.
We would like to thank National FBLA-PBL for the opportunity
to provide services for the National Leadership Conferences this
year and wish all of the competitors the best!
72 | NATIONAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE GUIDE 2021

TBL NLC 2021 Special Edition

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