You see them at board meetings, at events, and online at night (way later than you should). But how often do you really get to spend quality time with the other women and men who help make your parent group run?
With a little help from Michelle C., Karel K., and Heather K. (pictured at top, left to right) from the Charles H. Barrows STEM Academy PTO in North Windham, Conn., we’ve rounded up the best reasons to come to a PTO Today Expo—even if you’re traveling a little farther. They recently drove three hours to the fall Expo in Massachusetts, but Expo events are scheduled throughout the country. Whether your school is around the corner or a few hours away, we hope you’ll join us for a day full of learning, ideas, and more!
Go ahead—stop for coffee, get a tractor trailer to honk for you, laugh your heads off, and whistle innocently as a police cruiser passes in the next lane. It’s the perfect way to kick off a day of fun and learning with your fellow PTO leaders!
It’s like speed-dating with fundraising companies and other exhibitors.
Parents with school-age kids are often pulled in lots of different directions. Life is just busy. But in one day, you get info about programs offered by many different fundraising companies and other vendors, plus talk to them personally and find out more about what it’s like to work with them. “There are things to be learned here that I would not have learned anywhere else,” Heather says. Talk about productive.
You’ll bring home tons of freebies.
The exhibitors want to make it easy for you to try their products; you might even need to head to the car and empty your free tote bag a couple times during the day. “We got a lot of stuff,” Karel says, “which is really great because we can use some of it for teacher appreciation gifts and things like that.”
It’s an awesome bonding experience for your group.
“Outside of the school environment, it gives us a different opportunity to talk and have fun and share ideas that we may not get a chance to in the large meetings that we usually have. We can toss things back and forth that we may have seen on the PTO Today website and in other places,” Karel says. “You know, it’s good team-building. Not even something so specific as which vendor, but just the event itself and what it brings to us as a group.”
You can ask us anything.
Need help with a parent group issue? Find a PTO Today staffer and we’ll help you work through it, or connect you with someone on the team who can.
You can go a little wild.
Flirt with athletes (or even better, team mascots!). Get yourself a tattoo (airbrushed, of course). Wear a snorkel mask indoors (and maybe stuff some cash in your shirt). Bust out your best dance moves (but keep it clean). Don’t worry—you won’t be blackmailed with any of it. Everyone knows that what happens at Expo stays at Expo.
The room is filled with your new best friends.
Being surrounded by other parents committed to helping their groups and their schools—just like you—is one of the highlights of coming to an Expo. “I thought it was great to be able to talk to some of the other parent groups and get ideas on things that they’ve done and see if it might work for us,” Karel says.
Whether chocolate, pastries, pizza, or other goodies are your thing, you’re in the right place to satisfy your craving. Just ask Heather.
You’ll go home with a renewed sense of purpose.
There’s nothing like a PTO Today Expo to make you ready to dive back into parent group work. “It kind of gives us a little new energy,” Michelle says. “It’s almost like it’s recharged our batteries.”