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NZBSA conference: Come visit us in our own backyard

The NZBSA conference is coming up soon and this year it’s right in our own backyard – Auckland. We’re looking forward to the annual event and hope to see many of you there.

The conference is set to run from the 30th May till the 2nd of June and will be held at the Langham hotel. Click here for more information.

In addition to the conference, the NZBSA also publishes the ‘Sign-in Magazine’ which has some great content about boarding in NZ. Click here to read the latest issue

Last years conference

With the conference fast approaching, we thought it would be a good time for us to reflect on our experience at the previous event.

Last year Nicholas Hillier and myself both went down to Queenstown to represent Boardingware at the NZBSA conference. Our trip was full of interesting and out of the ordinary moments (read our full story below), but overall it was a huge success. We thoroughly enjoyed the valuable talks that were presented and had a great time making friends with members of the NZ boarding industry as well as a few members from the Australian Boarding Schools Association (ABSA).

See what we got up to at the 2016 NZBSA conference below.

Day 1 – Flying into Queenstown, what a view! It’s easy to see why Queenstown is one of NZ’s biggest tourist destinations.

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When I touched down, I had a few hours to kill while I was waiting for Nick’s flight to arrive (Nick had been visiting boarding schools around Australia for the previous 4 weeks) so I decided to check-in to our accommodation.

The conference was being held at the luxurious Hilton resort and spa. A fantastic venue, however it was a bit expensive for our small (yet growing company). So we decided to look at some more affordable accommodation.

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But finding cheaper accommodation in a popular destination like Queenstown proved to be harder than we thought. It looked like we would end up staying in a place miles away from the conference and would have to organise our own transport everyday. But then we had an amazing idea…

Why don’t we combine our transport and accommodation together and hire out a camper-van? What started out as a joke, quickly turned into reality and also a great talking point for the rest of the conference. Thanks to Jucy Rentals, we managed to pick up this cozy little camper van which surprisingly fit two double beds.

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With our accommodation now sorted, we needed to decide where we were going to stay the night and get ready for the first day of conference the next day. Lake Hayes proved to be the perfect spot, with some absolutely stunning views that would’ve given the Hilton a good run for it’s money.

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Despite the freezing winter temperatures, we managed to survive the first night in the van. On our way to the conference we managed to stop by the public swimming pool and use their changing room facilities to get ready (we ended up using this place every morning). Here’s our van parked in the pool carpark.

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When we arrived at the conference we quickly realised that our van wouldn’t be allowed in the hotel carpark. But it didn’t turn out to be much of a problem as we managed find a spot on the street nearby and walk down.

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And thanks to the bright green colour, we could at least keep an eye on our van from the conference.

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Setting up our stand for the conference and getting ready to show off our brand new iPhone app. It was great to meet so many people face-to-face during the conference and learn more about what you do.

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Amongst the mingling and food, there was also some great educational talks and informative discussions. Overall it was a great opportunity for us to gain some more insight into the fantastic work you all do everyday as well as some of the big challenges in boarding.

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After a couple productive days at the conference Nick and myself managed to find some time to chill out and explore Queenstown. Hitting the luge with a few of our friends from ABSA was a blast.

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The final dinner at the Queenstown skyline was a superb night. Good food, good music and good company. It was the perfect way to finish off the conference.

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Home time – After packing up our staff it was time to return our home/van for the last few days and head home. Thanks NZBSA for putting on such a great conference.

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Vincent Paget is the Head of Content @ Boardingware (Safe and Simple Boarding School Management Software) who loves reading, design and the outdoors.

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