- 1 Quick Links & Resources
- 2 Previous Staff Email Updates
- 3 Glossary of Terms for Vision: Together
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Curious about what Students get via Email?
- 6 Who are the main contacts for the conference?
Quick Links & Resources
Previous Staff Email Updates
Glossary of Terms for Vision: Together
Schedule for your reference:
To see how all these components fit together, view the main schedule. [For those outside North America, see here for a suggested alternative schedule. For those whose Family Groups span multiple timezones, click here for help!]
- Whereas in years past, students have been matched with a family group once they got into their tracks. This year, we are not having tracks, so the bulk of the conference will be experienced with their local family groups. The priority should be to match students to groups they can eventually meet up with in person. Local teams will communicate with their local students how they will meet.
- In Person Family Groups: Small groups of 6-8 students + 2 staff/volunteers/student leaders who, after checking covid regulations in their locality, choose to meet in person for all/parts of the conference.
- Virtual Family Groups: Small groups of 6-8 students + 2 staff/volunteers/student leaders who choose to experience the conference together virtually. Will meet through Zoom.
- How does this affect staff: Every staff person should expect to participate as a family group leader. You will want to let your students know to put your campus as their family group, otherwise Vision may assign them to a random group. See here for details on how FG are assigned. See here for how to check which of your students are registered.
Voyage with another Family Group
- The Vision Conference affords a chance to not only go deeper with local students, but also we hope that we can give experiences where they can go a little deeper with students from other parts of the country. We will pair your family group up with another family group and give direction for interaction during that time.
- This is the contextualized portion of the conference. In the past, the contextualized portions have been called: Ambassadors, Multi Nations, Children of Abraham, South Asian Network, and Chinese Network. Each of these groups will continue to offer seminars this year. This year, we are adding three new contextualized seminars: Japanese, African, and Third Culture Kid. Each of these seminars will have 1 hour on Jan 2 and 1 hour on Jan 3 to connect with people who fit in their category. Some may have discussion times, some may have a speaker, some may have some networking opportunities. Each seminar leader is currently deciding how to best use the seminars to most effectively engage their target audience. Each seminar will vary in its offerings and availability for participation (for example, some seminars may not be in English). The Seminar Coordinators are working hard to make sure that every student will have a space to engage during the Seminar time. See more about the offerings of each Seminar on the web page.
- This year, we will have worship, some sort of visual art engagement time, and a main speaker that will tee up conversation for Family Group discussion right afterwards. The main sessions have been organized around hot topics. The three we will be exploring this year will be: Relationships, Mental Health, and Faith & Science.
- How does this affect staff: staff will need to figure out how they will want to watch the main session (i.e., watch the feed on a joint Zoom together, have students watch on their own and come together for the discussion time afterwards, watch in-person together, etc.).
- We will be taking Talent Show submissions by Dec 10 and will compile those together for a Talent show we will debut live on the last night. More details forthcoming on submission requirements.
- Instead of a New Year’s Eve dance party, we will be having an end-of-conference celebration to close out our time. Details are still being worked out by the community coordinators.
Community Time / Mingling
- The platform we have chosen, has a place called a Wonder Wall where there are rooms that we can create that link to a video chat. The Community Coordinators will be working to create spaces where people can go deeper in conversation on specific topics, where students who love board games can connect, where karaoke can happen, etc. On the schedule, during all the blue time, students will have a chance to interact with others at the conference on different topics by visiting the Wonder Wall.
- How does this affect staff: staff can visit different rooms to continue interacting with students. Staff can visit different rooms with their family groups or encourage student leaders to continue connecting with local students during that time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Structure, Schedule & Student Participation
How is this year’s virtual conference organized?
- See this infographic for a visual explanation.
Ideally, how many people would be in a Family Group?
- 6-8 students, plus two leaders.
How are Family Groups formed? And how do I get the contact info for my Family Group students?
- From students’ registration forms, we will see if they have listed their campus family group. Team leaders will have access to the registrations to see if any of their students forgot to add in their family group. If a student does not specify a family group, we will assign them to a family group for those who do not have a campus family group. See here for a flowchart of this process.
In some locations, Team Leaders (TLs) will manage getting students into Family Groups. In other locations, TLs may designate a local FG Coordinator. Here, we will refer to this as TL.)(FG facilitators will be local volunteers/staff who will facilitate the FG with a coleader and 4-8 students)1) TLs at each location need to contact Andy May to request access to the Registrations to see which of your students are registered. View this video to learn how to gain access.2) Students register.3) TLs match registered students to local FGs.4) TLs send local FG facilitators their list to begin contacting.
How do I decide if I can host an In-Person Family Group?
Can a location have multiple Family Groups? Can a team host a mix of virtual and in-person Family Groups?
- Yes to both questions! For a larger movement, you may need to have multiple family groups due to limited group size. When TLs register they will be asked if you will be doing in-person, virtual, or both. Adding a virtual group for a team hosting an in-person Family Group might make sense if there are a number of students dispersed around the world who want to join or some students aren’t comfortable with an in-person gathering.
- You will need to have leaders for the number of groups you have for your location. Leaders could be a staff, volunteers, partners or trusted student leaders (anyone willing to go through the family group leader training time).
Will family groups be organized by location even if a location is all virtual?
- We anticipate that most students will participate in Vision because of the invitation of their local staff and Bridges student leaders. We feel like the most natural way for those students to participate is with people they already know from their campus or city.
- Students will tell us in registration if they have been invited to a specific Family Group. If they don’t know how they will participate, we will follow up to either confirm their connection with a Family Group in their city or connect them with a fully virtual group.
If we have students who are not presently on campus (they’re either in their home country or another city in the U.S.), do they need to be in the same Family Group with our team?
- They are welcome to participate with their campus, or we can connect them with a virtual Family Group in a close time zone.
Does each Family Group need to have one full time staff person?
- Not necessarily, volunteers and student leaders can serve as family group leaders as well. They will need to register under Co-Laborers registration type and go through a training (likely in mid-December).
What will contextualization look like this year? Who is responsible for planning those times?
- Vision will not include our traditional tracks this year. Instead, contextual learning and community will take place through seminars which will all have a cultural or ministry training focus. These seminars will be “opt-in” experiences in contrast to our normal tracks where students “belong”. This year, we want students to experience that sense of belonging with their Family Groups. Seminars may, at times, break out by believers and seekers.
- Seminars will be led by the Networks, the Coaching Center and by a number of other staff passionate about smaller audiences among international students. See the seminar page on the Vision website for details.
What is the schedule like? What time does the conference start on January 1 and end on the 3rd?
- The conference will start early afternoon on January 1 and end late in the evening on January 3 for those Eastern time. A more detailed schedule is available here.
- The conference will have synchronous elements (experienced at the same time for those in North America) and asynchronous elements (experienced at different times in different time zones but in roughly the same part of the day).
- Main sessions with speakers and worship and contextualized seminars will occur synchronously. Family Groups conversations and interactions between Family Groups will be structured but asynchronous.
How many participants (non staff) are you planning on?
- In recent years we’ve averaged 600-800 students at Vision. This year our platform can host up to 3,000 people. We are optimistic that being online opens new opportunities for participation. Invite all your friends!
Is it still possible for ISM’s globally to join? how will that work if they are in Asia,/Australia and cant join for the live sessions because of time zones?
- Yes, other ISMs and staff can join from around the world and we hope they do. Here is a suggested schedule where you can scroll to see the time zone that works best for you. Synchronous content that they can’t watch live due to the time difference will be available as a recording almost immediately.
How can staff get involved in sharing ideas?
- Here is an org chart, so you can know who to contact for your specific ideas. For general questions and suggestions, contact Lauren (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will direct you to the right person.
Registration & Operations
What is the cost & deadline to register?
- Cost for students is $19 which includes a welcome / swag box (for those in the US) and access to all the conference content.
- There will be no formal deadline for students to register by, but the deadline to cancel and receive a full refund is December 20.
What questions are asked on the student registration?
- Click here for a preview video about what students are asked when they register. **Please do not enter the student registration yourself to look at it, as this could complicate your registration process.**
Can campuses use promo codes? Will there be an early registration discount?
- You will be able to create promo codes for your campus. There will be no early registration discount for students due to the minimal registration cost.
Is there a way a local team can collect more money through registration for in-person family group costs?
- If you need to charge your students additional money to cover in-person costs (food, venue, activities), you will need to do that through a separate ERT. Contact Andy May (email@example.com) for help in setting that up.
- In order to remove every possible barrier to gathering in-person (where safe and allowed by policy), the NBO is offering up to $100/per student to help with costs such as food and a venue. Learn more and APPLY FOR FUNDING.
What if someone is enjoying the conference and they want to invite their friends but their friends don’t want to pay the $19?
- Students must register in order to get access to the content and to help with security. A campus can scholarship students as well to help with those that might not want to pay or need a scholarship.
How will students in other countries pay?
- They will pay by credit card. We are making sure the payment through the ERT will allow foreign bank accounts.
What about students who want to join from countries with digital security concerns (ex. China)? Will they be able to access the platform?
- We are aware of the security issue and want to make participation as safe as possible for every student. Access to the conference platform will be controlled and tied to a registrant’s email address. We are working with the platform provider to make sure the platform can be used safely outside the U.S. Secure participation will likely require a VPN.
What are staff responsibilities on Dec. 31?
- Be at your ministry location unless you’ve made other arrangements (see next question).
- Participate in an online Vision staff meeting at 4:00pm Eastern. Everyone will gather on the conference platform to pray, prepare and address last minute questions.
Do staff need to be on location during Vision if they’re going to be in virtual family groups?
- Please do not make any plans to be away from your ministry location during the conference until you’ve talked with your team leader and your team has made a decision about whether to meet in-person or virtually. Our calling and responsibility as Bridges staff is to maximize our ministry opportunities with students before seeking personal convenience.
- If you are a part of a virtual Family Group, regardless of your physical location, it is essential that you 1) have strong and reliable internet access and 2) can be 100% focused on the conference.
What percentage of the Vision Day is the local team responsible for?
- Besides the synchronous portions (about 3 hours/day — main sessions, seminars, etc.), there will be a significant portion of your day spent in local family groups.
My spouse and I are both on staff and we have children. Are both of us expected to register and attend?
For families with school-aged children and younger (not college-aged) where both spouses are full-time staff, one spouse needs to register and attend Vision. This could be the husband or wife. Both, of course, are encouraged and welcome to register and attend. In cases where one spouse is full-time staff and the other spouse is not on staff (SOSA), the full-time staff member is expected to register and attend.
I am NOT RMO full-time staff (Part-Time Field Staff, Part-Time Hourly, Affiliate/Associate, Spouse Affiliates of full-time “Spouse On” staff), am I expected to register and attend?
While we would love to have you join us and need your leadership, you are not expected to attend. Work with your team leader or direct supervisor to decide if this is a wise stewardship of your hours and time.
My spouse and I will be watching from one computer, must we both register?
Yes. Here is the heart of that answer. We are asking students who watch together to each register and pay. We are asking our single staff who share an apartment to each pay. In light of not showing partiality, we are asking all staff to register and pay individually, even if you intend to share a screen with someone. So whether you are watching with a spouse, roommates, a bible study group, etc. we are asking each person experiencing the conference to register.
Should New Staff raising support participate?
New staff raising support have the opportunity to participate in Vision but should not take on a conference role so they can remain focused on MPD. New Staff should have a conversation with the MPD Coach before registering.
Who do I ask if I have an exemption question not covered here?
Please email Nancy Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org).
How will Cru Ambassadors, volunteers, and partners be informed about this year’s conference?
- Those who came to Vision in recent years have received the first couple Vision emails.
- Please feel free to forward information to staff you’re aware of, or email email@example.com to add them to the list. We have no way to centrally know who is interested.
How would you motivate students to participate in this year’s conference?
- Start with our name – Vision: Together. We will be meeting with other people, connecting and going deeper, talking about hot topics and hard questions, contextualizing the gospel with people face to face. Emphasize connection, something people long for in this season of isolation.
- By the time the conference begins, students will be bored. They can’t travel much due to Covid restrictions. For many, exams end in mid-December and classes will not start again until the beginning of February, so this will be a great way to connect during the middle of their break.
- In terms of format for Vision this year, they’re familiar with the idea of hybrid format for their classes. This is similar to what we are doing with in-person family groups and the virtual main sessions and seminars.
- Global community: Despite being virtual, students will still meet new students from other campuses/countries/around the world! During main meetings, they’ll have the opportunity to use a chat feature to engage with other students from around the world during the session! Throughout the weekend, the platform we are using will have a built-in feature for networking, engaging in spiritual conversations, and playing games with people, even while sessions aren’t happening. Finally, this year we are introducing “Voyage” times, which will give your Family Group a chance to connect with another Family Group in order to build community and play some fun games including a virtual escape room designed especially for Vision!
Where do I find materials to promote Vision on my campus?
- Check out this Google Folder with social media posts, a promo video, and more!
Need ideas for how to recruit?
- Find the doc in this folder titled “Fresh Marketing Ideas”.
Curious about what Students get via Email?
Who are the main contacts for the conference?
Lauren Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Program Director and is the main contact for Program/Conference Design and Student Experience.
Andy May (email@example.com) is the Logistics & Operations Director and is the main contact for Registration, Conference Platform, Scholarships, and more.
Brianne Schaeffer (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Marketing Director and is the main contact for communication and marketing.
To view the org chart for other conference contacts, click here.
Let us know if there are other FAQs that would be helpful to include on here!