The “More” Effect on Educational Content

And the resulting challenges & opportunities for associations

Each year we survey meeting and continuing education professionals in order to publish two annual reports—our State of the Conference Industry Report and our Training Trends Report. This year we discovered a striking theme:

Managing educational content continues to become MORE challenging due to:

– MORE generations in the workforce
– MORE content
– MORE formats
– MORE content delivery options

The net effect is that associations are spending MORE time managing educational content and less time actually leveraging it to fuel long-term organizational growth.

Presentation Notes

  1. Omnipress has provided educational content solutions to associations for more than 40 years. In this presentation, we’ll discuss some important opportunities around educational content that associations can leverage to drive long-term growth for their organization.
  2. Each year for that past 5 years, we’ve surveyed association professionals to glean insights into the conference and training industries. This year, we’re seeing the same trend coming from both our State of the Conference Industry Report and our Training Trends report. And that is the trend of MORE.
  3. Every year we ask survey participants: What is the greatest value an association provides its members?
  4. And every year, including this year, knowledge and education is consistently viewed as the greatest value and association provides it’s members.
  5. Through conferences like this, training and continuing education courses, and member publications, associations are providing their members with valuable educational content.
  6.  Our presentation today is called “The More Effect on Educational Content because our survey results indicate that managing all of this content has become more challenging! Why?
  7. Well, we have more generations in the workplace. Currently four to be exact! Each with unique learning styles and content delivery preferencesIn order to meet those diverse needs, organizations must provide more delivery options! And members want more content in more formats.
  8. Speaking of more content, 51% of the training professionals we surveyed for our report said their organization provides more than 10 continuing education programs.
  9. And the number of educational programs associations provide is only expected to increase.
  10. On the conference side, we see meeting planners providing educational content to attendees in a variety of formats, from digital to print.
  11. In fact, since we’ve been creating our State of the Conference Industry Report, the number of content formats has continued to increase YOY.
  12. With more content and more content formats comes a lot more challenges. (see list on slide)
  13. And the implication of all these content challenges is that associations are spending MORE time managing their content and less time actually leveraging it for long-term organizational growth.
    But while we are seeing pains throughout the association related to content,  the data we collected from our two industry reports BOTH indicated some opportunities associations can leverage to create the growth they desire.
  14. Opportunity #1 – Increase cross-team collaboration to extend the life and reach of educational content. What does that mean?
  15. As you can see from this data, membership growth and conference attendance are connected – they follow similar trend lines that mirror each other. As membership grows, so does conference attendance. Conversely, conference attendance can also fuel membership growth. So how can both teams work together to attract and retain more attendees and members?
  16. By reusing and repurposing content. According to our survey, 55% of respondents ARE reusing their educational content. However, many are only using it to promote the next year’s event – which is a lost opportunity for other organizational growth goals.
  17. Meanwhile, our education professionals indicate there is a self-reported gap between how important their education programs are to overall organizational goals and how effective they are to actually achieving those goals.  When we asked about how important their programs were to elevating the integrity of their industry, the majority of respondents agreed their programs were important in achieving results. However, less than half of respondents thought the programs were actually effective in doing so. We saw similar results when it came to how their programs increase organizational relevance and attracting new members.
  18. This all adds up to associations needing to become more effective with their content in order to:
    1) Increase membership—especially of young professionals
    2) Increase conference attendance, and
    3) Increase industry relevancy
    All of which can be achieved if organizations can break down cross-departmental silos and collaborate MORE! Meanwhile, this will provide MORE exposure to your educational content, giving it MORE purpose beyond a single learning event which will create MORE value for members!
  19. The second opportunity we were able to glean from our industry report data is that associations must connect more with young professionals.
  20. Baby Boomers still make up the majority of association membership, despite increased retirement rates. In fact, according to our data, Boomers make up 50% or more of total membership! While Millennial and Gen Z make up only 20-30%. Associations must have a plan to fill their membership pipeline with younger generations if they want to be sustainable.
  21. But when we asked both conference planners and educational professionals about their preparedness for younger generations, the majority of respondents said they did NOT have a strategy to address the needs of young professionals.
  22. Instead of spending valuable time simply managing educational content, association professionals need to have the opportunity to focus on important initiatives such as:
    #1: Spend MORE time getting to know young professionals and their unique needs
    #2 Using content to create MORE connections with young professionals both on-and offline throughout the year
    #3 And providing young professionals with MORE than what Google can offer
  23. Please find:
    – Links to download both the 2019 State of the Conference Industry Report and the 2019 Training Trends Report
    – A selection of articles from our blog that discuss these ideas in more depth below
  24. Omnipress has been working with associations for more than 40 years to provide a simpler way to collect and deliver education for conferences and training courses. If you’d like to know more about us and what we do—or if you would like to receive a printed copy (hot off our presses) of either of our industry reports, please connect with us today.
  25. Thank you!

Six Articles to help you gain insight into the More Effect:

Are You Wasting Your Most Valuable Resource?

Associations are sitting on a goldmine. Unlike most for-profit organizations, associations are in the business of content. You source it for your conferences. You develop it for your educational programs. And you produce it for your publications. You have no shortage of knowledge and ideas to share. But what many don’t have is a well-defined sharing program, both internally and externally, which prevents associations from using that content to its full potential. Here are some ideas on how to overcome internal obstacles and develop a sustainable content marketing process. READ MORE

Association Growth: Conference and Membership Teams Must Collaborate Better

The 2019 State of the Conference Industry Report results demonstrate that conference attendance trends and membership growth trends are closely linked, making it essential that conference and membership teams work together to leverage this relationship, providing increased member benefit and attracting new audiences. Here are four ideas to achieve association growth. READ MORE

The Future of Continuing Education Can be Found in K-12 Classrooms

The way in which we need to deliver education is fundamentally changing because our understanding of how people learn best is changing. The origins of this shift can be traced all the way back to the K-12 classroom.  The school-aged learners of today will soon be the adult learners of tomorrow, and their current classroom experiences are going to affect professional development programs in the future. This article explores five fundamental shifts in classroom learning and the potential impact on continuing education professionals. READ MORE

Five Ways to Continue the Learning After Your Conference

The learning we experience at conferences does not have to end when the conference does. And that wonderful content that you spent months collecting and vetting doesn’t have to fade into oblivion. You can use it to keep the ideas flowing, keep your attendees energized and, better yet, increase the ROI of your conference for months, if not years, after the fact. Here are five ideas to leverage content after an event. READ MORE

Apply Micro-Learning Concepts to Your Printed Course Materials

The discussion of mico-learning is typically centered around online and mobile-based training programs. Recently, however, some organizations have started looking at ways to redesign existing print content to implement and test micro-learning without the need for additional resources. Here are some ideas to consider for your micro-learning programs. READ MORE

Get Your Training Courses Ready for Generation Z

Today, many associations are thinking about how to remain relevant at a time when access to free knowledge is just a click away. But there’s good news: Gen Z will find tremendous value in the opportunities that associations provide…if you can adapt to their needs and meet them on their terms. Here are some things to consider in your next conference strategy session. READ MORE