The website English Language and Usage defines “feeding the dragon” as the pouring of resources into a self-perpetuating situation. In business terms, organizations develop self-perpetuating resources that we nurture and evolve to provide continuity and serve our communities.
A learning management system (LMS) is often on the leading edge of our engagement strategy to educate, inform, and support our stakeholders. We should use this resource as our knowledge hub that facilitates learning whenever and wherever it occurs. This is especially true in the age of virtual conferences and the emergence of hybrid events.
The past year has changed how organizations reach and engage with their audience. By being forced into virtual events, they have expanded their audience and reached previously un-engaged participants. These events are often hosted in separate conference sites as a one-time occurrence. But this approach results in a lack of exposure and momentum for current and future organizational online education initiatives.
Integrating your virtual and hybrid events into an LMS pays long-term learning and, depending on your pricing strategy, monetary dividends. Provided below are 5 key benefits of offering your online event through your LMS:
- Virtual and hybrid events represent the intersection between place-based and online learning. Utilizing your LMS will allow you to leverage a perpetual model where each engagement builds upon the foundation and continuity the LMS provides.
- As registrants and then attendees access the conference, they will be able to see, register and access other LMS-hosted programs, such as e-learning courses or webinars.
- All session content will already be hosted within the LMS and simply needs to be edited for post-conference access. Otherwise, content from a separate conference site needs to be migrated, requiring hours of unnecessary work.
- Within an LMS, sessions can include surveys, tests, certificates and credits. Typically, not all of these features are available in a separate virtual conference environment.
- Hosting a virtual or hybrid conference within an LMS allows organizations to utilize the single sign-on and authentication already in place.
Pouring resources into a one-time conference site continues an event-to-event approach. Utilizing your LMS allows you to take advantage of a self-perpetuating model and synergizes with your online education. It feeds the LMS dragon!
CommPartners has managed virtual and hybrid events for over 12 years. Our Elevate LMS is the ideal platform to host your next virtual or hybrid event. To learn more, contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Rich Finstein
Past: CEO of CommPartners
Present: President, LMS and Managed Services Divisions, Cadmium
“Innovation is the unrelenting drive to break the status quo and develop anew where few have dared to go.“ – Steven Jeffes, Marketing and Business Expert
As you may know, CommPartners, along with three other companies—CadmiumCD, Ethos CE, and Warpwire—have formed a new entity called Cadmium.
The formal mission of Cadmium is to simplify the production of events and maximize the value of online learning with a single, flexible platform designed to capture the chemistry of people, ideas, and knowledge. At its core is the idea that all knowledge, whether created and shared onsite, online, or in a hybrid format is best offered through a unified strategy and a single platform. This is the basis for CommPartners moving forward at this time and becoming a division of Cadmium.
Our plan over the coming months is to incorporate our Elevate LMS, virtual conference, and webinar platforms with CadmiumCD’s event tech and Warpwire’s multimedia tools to give our clients the ability to leverage an enduring, integrated strategy for their education and community engagement. We feel organizations that embrace a comprehensive and integrated approach for onsite, online, and hybrid education will thrive. The pandemic has had a profound effect on education offerings and has expedited the convergence of conferences and online learning.
Last week, we formally announced the launch of the new website, www.gocadmium.com and began to change our email signatures, social sites, and other engagement tools. We are actively working with our new colleagues and beginning to collaborate as a single entity. These are new and exciting times.
As we transition, I want our clients to know that our leadership team and our entire staff will continue to be there for you as we always have. My CommPartners colleagues are actively working within the new framework and enjoying the opportunities that have come with our expanded size and impact in the market.
While we are excited to move forward, we recognize that with all personal and professional transitions, there is an ending and a new beginning. We started CommPartners 28 years ago in my house as a provider of fax broadcast services. National Association of Home Builders was our first client and we continue to support their education needs today. It’s been quite a journey to get to this point.
I want to thank you all for your years of support and friendship. Thanks to our staff, both past and present, who enabled us to thrive. To our families, thank you for always being there for us in good times and in bad. Finally, thank you to the association community for your support and trust over so many years.
We look forward to beginning anew, and are excited about what’s next!
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to present at the 2019 Higher Logic Super Forum, on the topic of community-based learning. At the start of the session, I discussed the difference between training and learning. I suggested that training tends to be one dimensional or instructional, in support of a specific process or job with a singular path towards the end goal. Learning can be described as a multi-dimensional approach, that links educational experience and work performance. It focuses on personal qualities and situational decision making. Too often online education programs that fit well into the learning space are structured as training. The problem is, there is little space created for engagement, conversation and sharing of ideas and this leads to minimal learner to learner or learner to instructor engagement.
A way to address this situation is to create space for sharing of ideas, reflection and connection among participants. This was one of the initial goals when we formed a close partnership with Higher Logic to bring learning and community together as a single offering. While we have had some success achieving this on a macro level with an integrated user experience (UX), a single menu structure and seamless integration, we have not had great progress on a content level.
In my talk yesterday, I made the case that if you are offering online learning that is enhanced from a collaboration among participants, an integration of your community and LMS on a program level makes a lot of sense. Here are three benefits of integrating discussions within your online course, virtual conference or webinar offerings:
- Your community members have already taken time to set up their profile and participate in the community. They can now leverage that presence to engage fellow learners in a more focused way. Adding online education to their participation makes them more active and creates synergy between the two platforms, therefore increasing participation.
- Satisfaction with a course will be enhanced when there is the opportunity to share ones ideas or thoughts with other learners.
- Adding discussions provides a continuum of what is learned. It provides participants the opportunity to continue with the topic once the course is completed.
Recently, CommPartners enhanced its integration between Higher Logic’s Community and CommPartners’ Elevate LMS. Is it time for you to make this a priority in 2020?
If you have questions on how to move forward with community based learning, contact Meghan Gowen, VP of Client Development at email@example.com
We’ve noticed that among many organizations, a primary focus for their RFPs is to ensure that the platform selected meets a defined set of requirements. The review process of narrowing down a list of providers, tends to be based on which companies can satisfy those requirements. The company you will be working with is typically a secondary consideration, but should it be? Here are five considerations when identifying the ideal company to support your LMS platform.
- How has the company developed and evolved?
- Have they grown organically over many years and have an established staff with a long tenure? Alternatively if the LMS was part of an acquisition, how was it handled? After the transition, did a core group stay on to provide continuity? Has the mission or focus changed? Companies that are home grown tend to have a more singular focus on the client and not worried about politics and mixing in with other internal forces.
- Do they have a positive culture?
- Do you sense that their staff is happy and fulfilled? The platform you are selecting is the tangible component of your decision, however the relationship you are establishing will most likely be, at minimum a few years. So like any relationship, is this a company that you feel confident and comfortable engaging with on a regular basis?
- Does the company have a reputation for listening to client ideas or requests and incorporating that input in their development process?
- The set of features within the LMS you are selecting is a moment in time. This is not necessarily an indication of what the platform will be like a year from now, or multiple years from now. It’s important to learn about how the platform will evolve and whether the company will take your future online education needs into consideration when making these updates.
- How are their reviews?
- Some of the best platform feedback and advice that your organization can receive are client reviews. We have found that ReviewMyLMS is an excellent source of information because it focuses specifically on the association community. It recognizes that the way association LMS options are evaluated is different than other markets.
- What complimentary solutions does the company offer that can bring value to your organization?
- Are there additional services that can extend the effectiveness of your platform, such as, instructional design, course development, livestreaming, content capture and webinar production? Being able to work with an all-in-one company on content and the LMS platform reduces complexity and leads to a more seamless result.
We all understand that a priority is selecting an LMS platform that will meet specific feature requirements. However, it’s also important to consider that the company you sign a contract with can have a profound impact on the platform’s future success.
To learn more about Elevate LMS or our suite of online event solutions, please contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CommPartners Approach to Onboarding Your LMS
Last week, I was speaking with a colleague who had just returned from an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico. During our conversation, I asked what some of the highlights from her trip were. The response I received sparked a thought about the true value that comes with genuine customer service.
Now, you would think that the first thing she would tell us about is the delicious food or beautiful beaches, but to our surprise, there was something that she thought stood out above those luxurious details. What stood out to her the most was every time she and her husband asked for something, the staff responded with “It’s our pleasure.” This made them feel valued for choosing to invest their time and money into this resort. It’s our pleasure, conveys a feeling of appreciation.
At CommPartners, we quite often discuss how grateful we are to be involved in the association community, surrounded by an amazing group of people, who we value and feel so fortunate to work with and support. We know education is a core component for most associations and what we do matters a great deal.
A learning management system is a significant investment, both financially and strategically, that can take months, even years, to make a decision on. Once the decision is made, the client and LMS provider come together to create a unified partnership and shared mindset, determined to fulfill the client’s overall vision. The onboarding process that follows is a critical time where expectations are confirmed and a foundation for working together is set. This is where “It’s Our Pleasure” comes into play.
Like any first impression, the first moments of the onboarding process are a sign of what to expect down the road. The first thing you notice is the tone of the communication. How professional and courteous is the project manager? Is this person responsive? Is he or she clear about what to expect, and with follow-up communications. Is this person detail oriented? These are all critical elements?
Just as important, is if this person has a positive attitude and is enthusiastic about your project? Do you, as the client, feel appreciated for the decision you have made and the faith you’re imparting on your selected provider? Are you truly in this together?
At CommPartners, we have gone to great lengths to support and empower our onboarding staff who in turn are giving and generous with their time and spirit. They recognize how critical it is that you are welcomed properly to our organization and that we are simply not just saying thank you for your business. Actually, it’s our pleasure to serve you.