THRIVE Workshop Boston Recap

The HINGE team traveled to Boston last week to host our one-day THRIVE Workshop at the fabulous Revere Hotel.

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Kicking off the event the Thursday evening before the workshop, we welcomed attendees with complimentary New England nibbles and drinks on the Rooftop@Revere. The views over Boston were amazing, but the lobster rolls stole the show! (And how about those miniature s’mores?!) We had a blast getting to know everyone at our welcome reception and learning about all of your childcare businesses.

Though, not everyone was able to make it to the workshop due to Hurricane Florence. We send our thoughts and well-wishes out to everyone affected by the storm and are pleased to provide those who couldn’t attend a discount to our SHIFT Conference or next THRIVE Workshop in the amount of Boston THRIVE Workshop ticket.

While some were unable to attend, we did have 89 fabulous workshop attendees on the day—ready to learn and start growing their childcare businesses.

The workshop day began with a scrumptious breakfast of fruit, yogurt, pastries, breakfast sandwiches and, of course, lots and lots of coffee. After fueling up for the day, HINGE Founder Kathy Ligon welcomed our Boston crew with news and announcements, an overview of the day and updates on the state of the childcare industry.

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Kathy then launched into her morning content: building revenue and tracking your childcare financial statements. With this content came an exciting announcement: an upcoming partnership between HINGE Brokers and our friends at Quatrro, a financial services company. Introducing Geren Anderson, Quatrro’s Vice President of Business Development, Kathy asked for a few guinea pigs to help test the new partnership and let us review their childcare business financials. Well, there was no problem finding willing parties for this! Thanks to all who have volunteered!

Then it was time to introduce our THRIVE Financial Model. Twenty-five years in the industry, this proven model has been used successfully by hundreds of childcare companies across the US and was recently advanced into a benchmarking tool. We’d tell you more, but you’ll have to attend one of our workshops first… ;)

After calculating occupancies and revealing our revenue maximization model, it was time for a short break and then a dive into HINGE Operations & Staffing Consultant Kathe Petchel’s marketing and sales wisdom. And boy did she have a lot to share! Revealing our THRIVE best practices and marketing steps to success, Kathe’s content was a great test for our attendees note-taking skills. (Sorry for any cramping hands!)

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Before lunch, we broke into our THRIVE color groups for a case study activity. The mission was straight-forward: Review an imaginary childcare company’s financials and figure out which areas they need to improve. Sounds easy enough? Well, the entire group rocked it. Well done!

Then it was up to the rooftop for lunch! And luckily for us, the sun was bright and beaming on that Friday afternoon. Attendees were able to fill their plates up with salad, pasta, sandwiches, homemade chips and the occasional sweet to fuel their bodies and brains to take on the remainder of the day.

Oh, have we mentioned the interactive cube yet?! We like to include fun, little details at our events and this THRIVE Workshop was no exception. Working with the event staff at the Revere Hotel, we were given the option of using a tossable, cube microphone to encourage audience questions and participation. Attendees simply raised their hands and one of our THRIVE Guides would (carefully) toss them the cube so everyone could hear each other’s comments and questions. Neat, right?

After lunch, everyone made their way back to our workshop room to reveal their case study conclusions. HINGE National Director of Real Estate Mike Pepper led the discussions—tossing the cube to group representatives and revealing a few insights of his own. Following the case study overviews, Kathy took over to wrap up her financial discussion and share more goodies contained in our THRIVE Financial Model.

Then it was time for our guest speaker, Gerry Pastor of Educational Playcare in Connecticut, to take the stage! A huge thank you to Gerry for sharing his extensive knowledge on expanding a childcare business. Gerry and his wife, Jane Porterfield, have expanded their own brand of schools to 18 locations over the years. He shared loads of great insights, and even managed to push through his presentation when Rihanna tried to steal the show (🎵work work work work work 🎵snuck into our workshop room’s audio speakers). Never a dull moment at THRIVE! 

Following Gerry’s educational presentation, Kathe took back over with loads of tips and tricks for retaining staff within your childcare business. And we mean LOADS. So much that she nearly ran out of time to share all of her goodies! But luckily, we got there in the end and were able to wrap up another incredible THRIVE Workshop.

A huge thank you to all those who attended! It’s attendees like you who make our events a huge success. We are so appreciative of your input and participation, and we hope to see you again at another THRIVE Workshop in the future!

Meredith Martin