GiGi’s Playhouse National Conference 2020

The GiGi’s Indy team attended the GiGi’s Playhouse National Conference last week… VIRTUALLY! Over the span of 4 days, 500 attendees, 60 cities, 2 countries and 1 voice came together to celebrate GiGi’s Playhouse. Our week began with a teambuilding day spent at “Just Pop In” and then pottery painting at “Kiln Creations” in Broad Ripple. And of course, we stopped by BRICS to end our day with a sweet treat! On Thursday, conference began with an energetic kickoff with Nancy Gianni! The GiGi’s team attended a variety of breakout sessions. Please view the list below that includes a small glimpse into what sessions were attended.

  • Leveraging University Partnerships
  • Volunteer Recruitment – Lets Get Excited!
  • Racial Equality and Increasing Diversity
  • Measuring and Improving Social Media Success
  • Hybrid & Virtual Events: Creating Compelling Experiences


Kendra, Denisse and Riley even embraced the “conference vibe” by checking in at the Sheraton on Thursday! To get a quick summary of what the GiGi’s Playhouse National Conference means to the GiGi’s Indy team, view the person quotes below.




“I always enjoy the GiGi’s National Conference; coming together with staff from over 50 locations and sharing thoughts, ideas, and the different ways that we do things for our playhouses and participants. And while it was a bummer to not see people face-to-face this year, it was still helpful to discuss our newest challenges, goals, and ideas for making our playhouses successful.”

Kendra Smith, Administrative Assistant


“There is no better feeling than being surrounded by people who share your passion. At GiGi’s Playhouse National Conference, the level of excitement that staff members and volunteers display in regards to GiGi’s Playhouse is unmatchable. My favorite part about conference will always be establishing connections with other playhouses. The organic conversations that happen in regards to playhouse operations, program tips & tricks or even how to enhance the audio on virtual programs comes so easily. I am so thankful that I have been able to attend conference in-person and virtually! In addition, we were excited to see many of our Indy faces during the Welcome Session!”

Riley Forsythe, Operations Manager


“One of my favorite events is attending our National GiGi’s Playhouse conference at Hoffman Estates, IL. The opportunity to connect with our network, share ideas, talk about the future, and get inspired. After a conference I would return to our Playhouse feeling so energized and excited, being motivated to push forward and work on expanding our programs in the community. This years’ experience did not disappoint!  I would like to congratulate everyone who made our first ever virtual conference a smashing success with record attendance. I was honored to present on several topics and humble to receive on behalf of the Playhouse “The Community Impact Champion Award”. A huge thank to our staff and volunteers that have placed hundreds of hours to execute GiGi’s At Home.  This award also recognize our work leading the charge with re-openings by being the first to implement, test and improve the criteria and protocols we put into place. Creating a safer environment for all 50 Playhouses across the US and in Mexico.”


Denisse Jensen, Executive Director


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