ISS Sector Forum

Home Forums The PASFAA Forum ISS Sector Forum


Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #15583
    Keri Neidig

    Hello Fellow ISS Sector Members!

    I’m hoping to get a new Forum discussion going to gather your feedback as 2020/21 planning is underway. Two items:

    1. Now that the fall (October) conference will be held virtually, the finance and development committee is hard at work to evaluate the business partner packages that many of us participate. Without the engagement of a traditional exhibit hall, in-person discussions, paper registration packets to insert materials, we will be navigating a new (and hopefully temporary) event. Thanks to those of you who responded to the conference survey. We were able to obtain some initial feedback from it.
    Consider these questions and share your thoughts:
    – What a la carte options would you like to see PASFAA offer its business partners?
    – Do you have budget constraints or concerns with pricing of $2,500 for Tier 1 (19/20 rate)?
    – What experiences have you had with other virtual conference events? Things you liked or didn’t, how did the association offer engagement activities for
    their business partners?

    2. Has the pandemic and/or market conditions impacted your ability to support PASFAA financially as a business partner? Has it impacted the timing of when your company would likely commit to a 20/21 support package?

    If you have thoughts and you prefer to send to me directly, feel free to do so at

    Thank you for your continued support of PASFAA!

    Keri Neidig
    PASFAA ISS Sector Representative and Newsletter Editor

    Keri Neidig

    Hi Again!

    I want to address the decision that we will have a virtual conference as I’ve received a few emails. PASFAA Leadership has voted that a virtual conference be held in place of an in-person event on Monday (yesterday). As representative for this sector, I am communicating that decision to you via this forum thread.

    You will also receive information in the newsletter (which I am waiting for one final item to publish), on the conference page of the website and likely a formal communication from Shane Himes, our president.


    Daniel Wray

    Hi, Keri:

    Thanks for posting this info about the fall conference.

    – For a la carte options, I’d like to see: sponsor a general session, provide a 5-minute product/service overview at the beginning of a general session, have push notifications sent throughout the conference, have a spot in a virtual exhibit hall, be part of a scavenger hunt, have a logo/banner ad displayed on the sign-up for sessions, sponsor a game, sponsor an entertainment event, an ad on a printed program that is sent to each registrant, branded waiting rooms, branded breakout rooms, facilitated one-on-one meeting between a participant and a business partner, closing credits sponsorship.
    – Do you have budget constraints or concerns with pricing of $2,500 for Tier 1 (19/20 rate)? I’m not hearing anything as of this moment, but the decision will not be mine to make.
    – I like the idea of spreading a virtual conference out over a longer period of time, with multiple opportunities for attendees to view each session (so, recordings will need to be made available). Still, I think it’s way better from an attendee standpoint to attend a LIVE event, for the purposes of Q&A.
    – So far, it doesn’t seem as if the pandemic and/or market conditions have impacted our ability to support PASFAA financially as a business partner, nor has it impacted the timing of when we would likely commit to a 20/21 support package. Once again, though, these are not my decisions to make.

    Keri Neidig

    Thank you for this detailed response – these are great ideas!

    I also wanted to thank everyone else who has reached out to provide their feedback directly.

    Have a great week (and keep the thoughts coming if you have other ideas),

    Katrina Delgrosso

    Hi Keri! I know I submitted some items to you and Linda already–do you need additional feedback at this stage?

    Keri Neidig

    Hi ISS sector!

    I hope that you were able to view and read the Forum post that Dan Wray sent on my behalf last week. For some reason, I am having trouble viewing it in the forum (but did get a copy of what I sent via email). Technology….that’s all I can say!

    I’m writing to thank our early 20/21 business partners! We have received 12 Tier 1 partners in just 48 hours and a few of you have chosen to purchase a la carte items. Thank you sincerely for your support.

    This serves as a reminder that the Monthly Spotlight was made available to the first 12 Tier 1 partners in 20/21. That means, any new Tier 1 partners from this point forward will NOT receive a Spotlight on the PASFAA website. That doesn’t mean there aren’t a wealth of opportunities provided to top tier partners to consider!

    Have a great evening all and let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    Best Regards,
    Keri Neidig
    PASFAA ISS Sector Representative and Newsletter Editor

    Keri Neidig

    Good Afternoon All!

    It’s been a challenge getting used to this ‘new normal’ and there have been lots of moving pieces related to PASFAA as of late. Please take a moment to consider this forum and share your feedback.

    1. PASFAA Post has been published and I’ve included an ISS article…please check it out.

    2. Since that article published, you should have each received (or one member of your organization would have received) the 2020/2021 business partner package/support document. You’ll notice several changes this year. First … virtual conference = virtual exhibiting. Second … expansion of the webinar series to allow company-specific information to be shared. Third … only the first 12 Tier 1 partners will receive a monthly spotlight on Fourth … the option to have a company-specific social media ad posted by PASFAA was added as a new offering. And last, but certainly not least, there is only one ‘tier’ and a few ‘a la carte’ items for purchase.

    3. Register for your support on or after September 15th – the order that partners are listed is dependent upon the order that sign ups occur!

    4. Many of us are concerned about engagement during a virtual event. Yours truly, plus Dan Wray and Lori Helmich are members of this year’s conference committee. SHARE your ideas. We will do our best to provide an engaging event! We also are very THANKFUL to Kat Delgrosso for jumping in to help us with the conference app – she’s become our resident expert.

    5. Check out the virtual exhibit demo from Whova (the same app we used for the 2019 conference):

    6. Nominations for ISS Sector representative are open if you are interested in running. I have also thrown my name in the hat to continue on…though we’ll see what happens after nominations are in and the sector places their votes 😉

    If you have feedback, feel free to share on the forum for the benefit of the group. Otherwise, I am always here to chat or communicate with directly.

    Have a great weekend and thank you for your support of PASFAA. It does not go unnoticed.


    Keri Neidig
    ISS Sector Rep and Newsletter Editor, PASFAA

    Daniel Wray

    Sorry for the confusion everyone, but due to a tech glitch, Keri’s forum post (above) showing as September 17, 2020 at 9:43 pm was actually submitted several days PRIOR to the post showing as September 17, 2020 at 5:23 pm.

    Keri Neidig

    Good Morning ISS Sector!

    I hope this email finds you each well. I’m writing with a few updates now that PASFAA’s first ever virtual conference has come to an end.

    During the event, several of you joined our sector meeting to discuss ways to encourage visitors to the exhibit hall. Thank you for sharing that feedback and know that the committee did everything they could (that includes four of your fellow ISS members…Kat Delgrosso, Dan Wray, Lori Helmich and me). We recognize there were challenges and so would like to gather your post-conference feedback on a call next week.

    When: November 11th at 11:00
    Dial in details:
    Join on your computer or mobile app
    Click here to join the meeting
    Or call in (audio only)
    +1 302-265-0816,,792486526# United States, Wilmington
    (844) 647-1548,,792486526# United States (Toll-free)

    Also, don’t forget to VOTE for ISS Sector Representative on! Feels a bit like what we may be trying to avoid all over television right now…but your vote matters!

    As always, if you have questions, comments or general feedback feel free email me directly, call me 610-216-2807 or drop a note in the Forum to engage in a discussion.


    Katrina Delgrosso

    Hi Linda,

    Per your email to the ISS sector on 12/15 about the rebate or future conference discount for 2020 PASFAA Conference sponsors, I am ok with this to be offered as a discount towards the 2021 PASFAA Conference, rather than a rebate sooner than that.



    Linda Pacewicz

    ISS Sector Rep virtual meeting held 1/21/21, 1:pm with F&D (Linda Anderson), Conference Chair(Joni Trovato)and Spring Training Chair ( Melony Ohalek)
    Those that rsvp’d and attended were:
    Ledezma, Heather M;;; Wray, Daniel M ; Brown, Diona S ;;; Fontana, Julie A ;;;;;; Pacewicz, Linda M ;;;;;;;;;;; Lindsey, William M

    The discussion was to review last Fall’s virtual conference for pros, cons and review of the packages offered to business partners along with ideas for future events.
    Linda/PHEAA-ISS chair advised that feedback was received and sent to Council in response to George/PASFAA President suggesting to offer a discount or rebate, as a good faith effort, to business partners who paid to vend at the Fall virtual conference because there was very poor vendor booth attendance. The ISS survey favored a discount to those that vended last Fall and a proposal was sent to Council to offer half of the vendor fee as a discount when re-registering this year to vend. Those business partners that did not vend in the Fall 2020, would pay full price. Half of last year’s vendor cost is $400. This will be reviewed at the February Council meeting. Remember, it is a proposal based on the conversations and has not been approved.
    Spring Training will be held virtually at this point and dates have not been set. In the past, the dates had to work around Spring Break at the sponsoring schools and since it won’t be an in person event, the dates are flexible. Melony/SLMA -Spring Training Chair and committee are still working on those details.
    Fall Conference is hoped to be in person in Penn State but Joni Trovato/Conference Chair advised that those decisions have not been finalized either. Survey of Fall attendees were shared by Joni (and Keri/SLMA during the last meeting) that noted that many would attend an in person conference and preferred it – IF – the school’s budget would allow. Joni is planning to do another survey to gather more input now that we’re moving into another AY during the COVID shutdown.
    In the discussion about ideas to allow business partners to have more visibility and interaction, Heather/PNC shared an idea that worked well at another conference: Conference in a box and Virtual Speed Meeting. A few others also had an experience with this and had positive comments.
    Conference in a box would allow the business partners that have sponsored the conference (vended) to include a piece of literature and a branded item in a box that would be sent to conference participants. The conference that Heather was part of, offered this to the first 300 registered attendees and either mailed the box to their office or to their homes. PASFAA would be responsible for the cost of mailing and the cost of the box or padded envelopes. Partners would be responsible to send their items to wherever this would be coordinated and it would need to be decided on who would be responsible for collecting and packing the boxes or padded envelopes. (ie PASFAA committee) Heather sent all the meeting attendees an email with how it worked and a picture of the box. PASFAA would also decide on how many would be sent and who would receive – most likely based on costs. Heather sent a followup email with costs that were incurred by the other conferences and that will be shared with Council. Approx $9-10/box.
    Virtual Speed Meeting/Dating – would be a virtual meeting with different rooms occupied by the conference vendors and people would be shuffled by an admin to different rooms within a few minute rotation to have a product or fun conversation. This also had positive comments from those that had participated at other conferences. Some sort of incentive would need to be added to have attendees join.
    Scavenger hunt ideas were also shared by Elizabeth Daniel/MyScholarnet and how they did this at a conference by having presentations during lunch breaks, each having a hidden cookie in their short presentations and attendees who found them all, would be in a gift card raffle.
    Whoa: Kat/College Ave asked for feedback on the use of the whoa app and positive feedback was provided. Since PASFAA has paid for the use of this process, it will be used for upcoming virtual programs. Katrina also reiterated more survey results that were positive and most said the Whoa app was helpful, 75% said they’d attend a virtual Spring Training and 51% thought a 3 day conference event would be better than one, to fit schedules.
    Linda Anderson/F&D asked for ideas on the Al-A-Carte menu for PASFAA and the Tier 1 options. There was feedback that one sponsorship cost for everything might work. Others thought the current options worked especially where partner budgets are concerned as it allows participation at some level.
    The Tier costs were challenged, but it was also noted the amount of recognition a vendor receives for that participation, such as banner ads on the website, Fall and Spring training options, etc…. and these were more options than other conferences offered with lower fees.
    Tom May/Citizens asked that PASFAA do away with the first come/first served at Midnight process … and it was noted this is to allow the vendor order of picking a booth location at the conference. Perhaps the time could be changed to 8:am. Since the Spotlight, offered in Tier 1, can only go to the first 12, it was mentioned that a discount should be offered in the Tier 1 cost if you did not receive that monthly option. An idea of offering a smaller 30 minute monthly business partner session would be a solution to include more. Tom Dalton/EdAmerica brought up that the 5 min commercial from a sponsor before sessions was a great idea and many more agreed.
    Pre-recorded sessions were also suggested and then the live session could be a roundtable discussion on the material that was presented. This would need to be timed out to include discussion time.
    The meeting was kept to an hour, all were thanked for attending and for feedback. Linda P/PHEAA ISS Sector Chair that she would share these thoughts with Council.

    Katrina Delgrosso

    Note regarding the ISS Sector minutes posted on 1/29/21 and the Whova app: Whova charges on a per-event basis, so while PASFAA paid for the Fall 2020 conference, a new contract would have to be signed for other individual events. So if we used it again for the Spring Training, Fall 2021 Conference, etc., those are separate events that require additional contract(s)/payment(s). –Katrina

    Linda Pacewicz

    This email was sent to the Sector Participants for feedback, if you didn’t see the post, you can review it here. I’ll be responding to PASFAA Council after the deadline for response on 1/30/2020. Happy Holidays all! TKS. Linda

    From: Linda Pacewicz <>
    Sent: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 10:03 AM
    To:;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; William Horn’s Mail <>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Eldridge, Roger <>;;;;;;;;;;;;;; Ziegler, Patrick <>;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    Subject: Your input is needed PASFAA ISS reps by 1/30

    Greetings PASFAA Business Partners –
    During the PASFAA Council Meeting on 12/14, the lack of interaction with your virtual exhibit booths during the Fall Conference was discussed. Although PASFAA made continued efforts to help engage participants, it was still noted that attendees did not visit, or was minimal, at the exhibit booths. The feedback from schools, as Keri shared in the last zoom call, was that the lack of attendance was mainly due to having other office tasks to be completed between sessions since this was a virtual conference, not that the exhibitors were intentionally ignored.

    However, as a good faith effort, PASFAA would like to offer compensation to the Business Partners that did pay to exhibit, or if exhibiting was included in your chosen package.

    There were several offers mentioned, including a partial rebate. However, if your entity is like mine, the funds used to pay for that conference was part of a budget that has passed and a rebate may not be the most beneficial option. Also, unless you only used the al-a-carte menu, the funds paid for conference participation included much more (ie: advertising displays) than an exhibit room.

    The most beneficial compensation suggestion to offer those who paid to exhibit, whether al-a-carte or through a package that included exhibiting, at the 2020 Fall virtual conference would be to offer a discount on the 2021 Fall Conference participation fee. Fall conference will be Oct 25-27 in Penn State and the anticipation and planning is for it to be in person. (Spring conference dates haven’t been set yet and will be virtual, following the options chosen in your Fall choices)

    I told Council that I would reach out to ask for your feedback. Again, a discount will be the most manageable option both internally for PASFAA, and for our upcoming expenditures.

    Please let me know by 1/30/2020 if you agree, or would rather another option… The majority will rule on this, as PASFAA needs one course of action.

    Thanks much – looking forward to your response!

    Note: I’ll also be placing this into the PASFAA Forum and sending info from that format. If you haven’t ‘subscribed’ to the ISS Forum, IN, please do!

    Linda Pacewicz
    PAForward Account Executive, East Region
    PHEAA (Pa Higher Education Assistance Agency)
    570-592-1209 (phone or text)
    This mailing is sponsored by the following organizations. Please check out their websites for online services and information for students and financial aid administrators.

    2020-2021 Tier 1 Partners
    – Sallie Mae,
    – Inceptia,
    – SoFi,
    – PHEAA,
    – College Ave Student Loans,
    – Citizens Bank,
    – McClintock and Associates,
    – Cognition Financial,
    – ScholarNet,
    – iHELP Private Loan Program,
    – Ocelot,
    – Credible,
    – PNC Bank,
    – EDvestinU,
    – CampusLogic,
    – Earnest,


    Mark Riggs

    ISS Sector Report 5.16.23

    Executive Meeting held on 4/14/23 Recap:
    Summary During the meeting, the question was asked whether business partners were getting the resources they wanted, and co-chairing sectors was discussed as an option. Directors Day and its proposal will be moved to the 2024-25 cycle. The idea of moving Spring Training to a different time of year was raised, but it was decided that it will remain in March. The Spring Training Chair position is open, and there are three potential locations for the 2024 event: Blair County Community Center, Lancaster Convention Center, and the David Lawrence Convention Center. Finally, the Executive Council asked if any business partners would be interested in providing resources for students and families, as some information on the PASFAA site might be outdated.

    F&D Update:
    Thanks to those who participated in the recent business partner sponsorships survey and will be gathering additional feedback soon. Heads Up, an announcement will be made later in May about the 2023-24 sponsorship opportunities. Watch your email and in June, and signups for the 2023-24 year will open on or shortly after July 1st (the start of the new fiscal year). Additionally, preliminary details about the 2024-25 business partner opportunities will be announced this summer based on feedback from business partners.

    2023 Conference Planning Committee Update:
    The Conference Planning Committee is working on planning several exciting events and entertainment for the “Raise the Bar” Conference in Hershey this fall. There is a large ballroom that can accommodate most business partners, and if needed, the hallway can also be used. Early bird registration will open around August 1st. The committee is also open to suggestions for foot traffic and business partner engagement, such as whether business partners would like to submit a gift basket.
    Once again, we want to thank all of our Business Partners for your support and membership.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.