EMC2 photo

Content + strategy + technology = effective education

Continuing education comes in all shapes and sizes – seminars, webinars, MOOCs, conferences. And with all types of price tags.

According to Abila, organizations spend more than $160 billion per year on continuing education. In addition, a recent survey by Abila shows 42 percent of an association’s revenue comes from professional education and training.

But the increasing amount of free and low-cost education options have some organizations concerned. That’s why now, more than ever, organizations need  a strategic education plan, technology and content, Abila says.

In a recent report, Abila broke down results from its 2016 Member Engagement Study, which found for millennials and Gen Xers, continuing education is one of the top reasons for belonging to an association.

Key findings:

  • Enticing younger members to participate in education and training programs is challenging. While Baby Boomers view associations as the No. 1 resource, millennials and GenXers turn to their employers for opportunities.
  • Content is key to creating a successful education program. Prices can fluctuate but without content, a CE program isn’t possible. And content can be the deciding factor between one of your programs and one of your competitor’s.
  • Finding the right technology tools and learning management platforms are challenging for associations. In fact, only one-third or fewere of professionals surveyed are “very satisfied” with current technological tools.
  • There seems to be a discrepancy between associations and members when charging for CE programs. According to the survey, most members want training to be included in dues, but only about one-third of associations offer than option.

“Individuals are looking for every edge they can gain, every skill they can sharpen, every advantage they can take,” Abila says. “Associations are aware of this shift, and a majority (about 60 percent) have adjusted in the last couple of years to adapt to the changing tides. However, many (about 40 percent) have only made small adjustments or no changes at all to their professional development and education programs. For associations to be successful, and to take advantage of the opportunities that exist for education and development, it’s imperative to continue to evolve.”

Abila offers some tips for associations.

  • Evaluate current education programs – If fewer than 60 percent of members participate, it’s time to change things up.
  • Engage different generations differently – Understand the needs of your members based on where they are in their careers.
  • Offer practical content – Data suggest one-hour, in-person courses are the best format for busy professionals.

9 Secrets to Building a Volunteer Surplus

Although the benefits of a successful volunteer management program are many and varied, the complexities should not be underestimated. Given the right approach, however, the investment can be well worth it. Therefore, make it easy, enjoyable and beneficial for your volunteers to give back – and you will be rewarded tenfold.

Read More >

Inclusivity: It’s more than words

Exclusion doesn’t just happen on the playground; it occurs in just about every social and professional setting. And as such, it’s time for a culture change, says Elizabeth Engel, chief strategist for Spark Consulting, and Sherry Marts, president and CEO of S*Marts Consulting.

Read More >

The Gardian of the Month: Trevor Mitchell

Trevor Mitchell, senior director of membership and strategy, American Mensa, is the Gardian of the Month.

Read More >

Turn your association event into an incredible content powerhouse

Planning an industry-leading event can be quite the undertaking, and nearly every association knows that the months leading up to an annual conference can be a bit daunting. While putting forth your best efforts to put on a great event, it’s easy to leave event- and year-round content opportunities on the table.

Read More >

Bright Idea: New look and feel

The Convention Industry Council just launched its new brand. As the result of member input, the organization is now the Events Industry Council, complete with a new logo.

Read More >

Navigating the millennial maze

Increasingly, it seems businesses are turning to post-graduation internships to fill slots left vacant by retiring Baby Boomers. And, of course, summer is prime internship time for current college students. And just in time, The Muse has released an e-book on millennials to help employers navigate the millennial maze.

Read More >