Connect 2022 Crossed the Finish Line
May 19, 2022 by
After taking a victory lap, everyone who attended Connect 2022 in Indianapolis made it to the winner’s circle feeling like a champion.
“We had a ball!” said La Ingrid Stewart, drawing out the word ball. Stewart was down front, center stage at the Jennifer Hudson concert, Connect’s Tyler client appreciation event. Stewart pulled out her phone and showed off a selfie, cheek to cheek with Hudson. “I was so excited; she was so close to me all of the time.”
While dancing, singing, and taking selfies with superstar Jennifer Hudson is hard to top, Connect’s mix of networking, learning, and fun made a lasting impression on Stewart, a first-time Connect attendee.
“I love, love, love, love the education piece and learning the different products we use!” exclaimed Stewart, who works in student transportation for the Westfield – Washington School Corporation in Indiana. “I got three certifications with NAPT (the National Association for Pupil Transportation). That was awesome.”
Stewart was with what looked like a tight group of friends on day three of Connect. “I just met them here,” she revealed as she and the group described playing the Connect treasure hunt networking game. “That’s the good part about this game, it’s the networking.”
The Connect Game spurred friendly competition and networking. From left, Cena Vaillancourt, police central records manager, and Chris Hill, IBR coordinator, with the City of Chesapeake Police Department, Virginia; La Ingrid Stewart, administrative assistant/trainer in transportation for Westfield – Washington School Corporation, Indiana; and Wendy Hartsell, HR analyst with the city of Kannapolis, North Carolina.
In one word (or two), the big takeaway for the team from Indianapolis Public Schools, Indiana, was “Enterprise ERP.” From left, David Haake, assistant director of budget & strategy; Neri Gabriel, financial analyst; and Patrick Niland, accounting officer.
Colleagues from Alabama attended Connect for networking, collaboration, and sharing ideas in person with other courts. From left, Mankinta Holloway, court administrator, city of Birmingham, Alabama; Melanie Harris Colston, municipal court administrator, city of Irondale, Alabama; Shon Farris, user support supervisor, city of Birmingham, Alabama; LaKenzise Mayberry, training and development manager, city of Birmingham, Alabama. Connect was “refreshing” for Mayberry, a first-time attendee who’s new to her role. “Tyler doesn’t just sell software, they also have all the tools and techniques to make that software work, like process reviews and training to make it all work."
A mix of Connect veterans and first timers connected over coffee. From left, Chris Lewis, IT director for Leon County Property Appraiser, Florida; Chad Chandler, Citrus County, Florida; Joshua Smart, tax roll coordinator with Citrus County, Florida; Darren Pillsbury, director of information services for Citrus County, Florida; Patrick Harrity, a programmer analyst for Leon County Property Appraiser, Florida.
Connect’s lineup of industry experts and motivational speakers added insights, levity, and inspiration to round out the agenda. Speakers included Stephen Dubner, co-author of the “Freakonomics” book series; Judy Smith, crisis strategist & communications advisor; Erin Brockovich, iconic environmental activist and consumer advocate; Carey Lohrenz, the first woman F-14 Tomcat fighter pilot in the U.S. Navy; Charles Marohn, founder and president of Strong Towns; Jason Dorsey, president and cofounder of the Center for Generational Kinetics; and Matt O’Neill, a special agent with the U.S. Secret Service.
“There is so much data, the trick is to interrogate what is good data and what is bad data,” said Connect keynote speaker Stephen Dubner, journalist, radio and TV personality, and award-winning co-author of the “Freakonomics” book series. “There is a difference between what economists would call revealed data – what people actually do – and preferred preferences – what people say they would do. This is a really big deal when planning programs.”
Erin Brockovich, the iconic environmental activist and consumer advocate, regaled the Connect audience in a virtual fireside chat and Q&A about living courageously true to one’s values. “Embrace your weaknesses. Learn about yourself and believe in you. Be tenacious and don’t let anyone tell you what you cannot do,” said Brockovich. “When you find that person, you will be shocked and amazed at yourself.”
Connect offered one-on-one and small group conversations based on topics posted by participants. Known as braindates, discussion topics were used to brainstorm, solve challenges, and share expertise or experiences while building a network of peers.
Braindate participants met up on-site in the Braindate Lounge
At the Braindate Lounge, participants built new peer relationships and friendships around topics of common interest.
The Connect Solutions Hub offered one convenient location where Tyler staff was available to answer questions, share ideas, and help formulate goals for maximizing the capabilities of Tyler software.
The Courts & Public Safety solutions hub offered product help desks and demonstration stations.
Games and Activities
Connect offered a fun and very popular treasure hunt networking game. Using a mobile app, participants engaged with each other and completed achievements to earn points. The top 10 point winners on the leaderboard were entered into a raffle to win a registration for Connect 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. Everyone who played felt like a winner for adding new friends to their professional networks.
“For every person you scan, you get a hundred points and they get a hundred points – so you’re both winning,” said Cena Vaillancourt, who ended Connect at the top of the game leaderboard. “We have met so many nice people and now we’re like, ‘Hey! Where are you at?’ I’ve got people messaging me, saying ‘Congratulations for staying on top of the leaderboard.’”
Connect Game participants were busy earning points and adding new friends to their professional networks.