Every January, Pool Scouts hosts a convention where the corporate team and franchisees come together to reflect on the past year and set goals for the year ahead. It’s also a great time for franchisees to share ideas with each other, and to get re-energized for the coming year. It’s a huge part of our culture that we pride ourselves on, and with COVID-19 impacting things this year, our convention was virtual for the first time ever.
While for many, the word of the year was ‘unprecedented’ or ‘pivot,’ for Pool Scouts it was ‘unstoppable.’ The pool service industry as a whole saw great growth during the pandemic, and as a result, Pool Scouts was able to thrive from both a consumer and franchise development perspective. We decided to incorporate that messaging into our convention theme by looking back at all the ways we have been Virtually Unstoppable in the past year, and how we can carry that momentum into the year ahead.
While there’s always endless hours of planning to ensure the convention runs smoothly, our first virtual convention had its own unique set of challenges. Some of those included making sure that from a technology standpoint everything functioned correctly, and also ensuring the content was engaging and interactive enough for franchisees to learn and stay connected throughout the different sessions. During the course of this three-day event, exciting and dynamic sessions were planned that kept everyone fully engaged.
To kick things off, Pool Scouts president Michael Wagner welcomed the group, which had many new faces with all of the new franchisees added to the family in 2020. Then virtual magician Harrison Kramer wowed the audience with his incredible magic, mentalism, and mind-blowing feats of skill while constantly interacting with his audience. The performance was highly interactive, using volunteers from the audience to make his magic come to life.
On the second day of convention, keynote presenters Kurt and Melissa Godwin kicked things off by discussing how they built one of the most successful Mosquito Joe operations in the country. They shared keys to success, their biggest challenges, and advice for both new and mature franchisees. They also shared views from their amazing waterfront home in Florida, complete with water toys and a tiki bar, proving what’s possible when you work hard and are all in.
The final day of convention began with keynote speaker Jason Redman, who’s a retired Navy SEAL and New York Times Bestselling author. Jason’s message of leadership, teamwork, the Overcome Mindset and surviving life ambushes by “Getting off the X” is applicable for both companies and individuals alike. He shared points that were both inspirational and actionable.
There was also a franchisee panel which is always a hit at convention. Seasoned franchisees share advice with new franchisees, and at the end there’s a time of Q&A where they can each take turns providing answers and solutions to frequently asked questions or issues that come up.
The first virtual convention went off without a hitch. People shared ideas and inspiration throughout the course of the sessions and stayed highly engaged. Our new franchisees were able to get to know everyone better, and take great ideas back to their business to put in place. While we are thrilled with the turnout of our first ever virtual convention, we hope to be back in Cancun next year!