For years, CommPartners has existed at the intersection of events and education. We’ve offered virtual and hybrid event services for well over a decade. In 2014, we launched our award-winning learning management system, Elevate.
At a glance, these might strike you as two distinct offerings. But they do more than complement one another. To make the most of one, you need the other. Though each can stand on their own, something special happens when they come together.
This is a time of unification. As Cadmium, we have united with our sister companies in support of our shared mission to unify events and education. But what exactly does that look like? Here’s our vision.
Nearly everything we do impacts the environment. Bicycling to work has a smaller carbon footprint than driving. It’s better to purchase locally grown produce than vegetables shipped across the country. The same goes for switching to renewable energy.
For every environmentally damaging action, there is a more sustainable alternative. Events are no exception.
Events. Meetings. Conferences. All of these can have a substantial environmental impact. How can we make them greener?
Sustainability exists on a sliding scale. You may not be able to make your event 100% green. But every little thing you do to reduce its footprint is worth it in the end.
Here’s our guide to planning greener events and meetings as the industry emerges from COVID-19.
You should choose your learning management system with care. After all, it will be the foundation of your association’s education strategy for years to come. Take this decision lightly, and you’ll pay the price. But if you make the right choice, you’ll reap the rewards of a remarkable online learning platform.
Elevate isn’t the only learning management system out there. But it could be the best LMS for you. Here’s why:
A World-Class Learning Management System
From the beginning, we built Elevate to meet the needs of associations and non-profits alike. Instead of building an LMS off of another platform, we built our LMS from the ground-up, meaning we have full-control over the features.
Unlike other companies that built an LMS for another industry, our LMS is purpose-built for associations by associations. We listened to our clients and created a full suite of flexible features to meet any organizational need.
From course creation, to credit earning, to in-depth reporting, Elevate LMS covers the entire learning cycle and more.
A Webinar Management Tool
Early on, we recognized that webinars are a vital part of many education programs, so we built a webinar management tool right into the LMS.
Instead of managing your webinars through a third party, Elevate lets you manage, deliver, and repurpose your webinar content within the LMS. Our learning management system serves as your one-stop-shop for all your webinar needs, from registration, to content delivery, to recording management.
*Bonus Tip: If you are feeling overwhelmed by your webinar program, our expert team of event producers can take the production off your plate.
A Virtual Conference Platform
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the convergence of education and events accelerated at an unprecedented pace. By leveraging an LMS, organizations ensured that their content became enduring—enabling reselling, recertifying, and marketing opportunities for years to come.
But manually moving content from the virtual conference platform to am LMS takes too much time and effort. With Elevate, you can seamlessly run a virtual conference and immediately integrate it into your LMS. All of the customization of a conference site fully integrates with the flexibility of your online learning platform.
A Revenue Generator
Other learning and events platforms flaunt their registration ability as a way to make your organization money. We can easily monetize your content through our robust registration system, but that isn’t the only way to generate revenue. After all, we know many of our clients offer their courseware free of charge, so we empower you to generate revenue in other ways.
Through Elevate, you can create a sponsor hall, tiles, and pages for paying sponsors of your learning program. Our content delivery tool also provides you an opportunity to sell sponsorship and advertisements to garner more traction.
Built to Expand with You
Many of the learning management systems on the market are built to accommodate organizations of a particular size. This rigidity eventually forces you to move to another LMS—requiring you to repeat the arduous process of finding, setting up, and implementing another LMS.
But not Elevate. Instead of limiting you, our LMS grows with you. We know how quickly organizations grow, and how time-consuming implementation of an LMS can be. We ensure you only have to do that once. Elevate is designed to flex with your organization and accommodate it’s growing needs.
Create Enduring Educational Experiences with Elevate
Elevate is more than just an LMS. Our award-winning online learning platform helps hundreds of nonprofits and associations to integrate events, generate revenue, and grow along with their education strategies.
The shift to Hybrid Events is as exciting for your attendees as it is for you. But whenever you step into new territory, you’re bound to feel some uncertainty as well.
We’ve heard some concerns about the number of in-person attendees dwindling due to the permanent virtual component. Is this notion realistic or even relevant? That’s a topic for another day. For now, we’d like to assuage these concerns by sharing a few tips for incentivizing in-person attendance at Hybrid Events.
This is a big one. Content is still king at Hybrid Events, but a desirable location can go a long way toward getting people to show up face-to-face.
Your members probably won’t be too thrilled about going to Buffalo in January. But a trip to Florida will get winter-weary northerners booking flights in no time.
Of course, climate isn’t everything. Florida might not be a convenient location, no matter how enticing the weather. Keep in mind the geographical location of your member base. Consider sending out a survey of potential locations to see if some pique more interest than others.
These days, it’s easy to feel as though COVID-19 is over. We hope it will be soon. But for the time being, safety will remain a concern for some of your attendees at Hybrid Events.
Most individuals with especially strong concerns about the safety of in-person attendance will opt to attend virtually. This flexibility is one of the great perks of the hybrid format.
But if you show that you’re working hard to ensure a safe in-person experience, you just might convince some hesitant individuals to show up face-to-face.
Need some pointers on safely conducting the in-person component of your Hybrid Event? Check out our guide.
People will travel from near and far to make it to your event. Why not give them something tangible for their time?
Gift bags are a mainstay at place-based events. Although some organizations have seen success shipping them out to virtual audience members, they’re a whole lot easier to distribute in-person. And they can even help to draw in crowds.
Come up with gifts that people actually want:
Tastefully branded clothing
Reusable water bottles
Branded face masks and hand sanitizer
Okay, gift bags probably won’t be the thing that gets people off the fence and attending your Hybrid Event in person. But some enticing goodies can help to seal the deal.
Food and Drink
Why do people attend in-person events? Beyond the educational opportunities and chance to hear some inspiring speakers, conference-goers want to meet people.
Plenty of person-to-person interaction takes place in event halls and during break-out sessions. But don’t discount the communication that tends to occur over food and drink. Not to mention that many people travel with their tastebuds as their guides.
Hot food and cold drinks don’t travel well. Emphasizing the gustatory delights in-person attendees can experience could draw them out in greater numbers.
The tastes of travel are just as important as the sights and sounds. Entertainment is one of the strongest tools you have to incentivize in-person attendance at your Hybrid Events.
The primary goals of your Hybrid Events should always be business and education. But it doesn’t always have to be so serious. People need entertaining, and the evenings provide the perfect opportunity to fit in some fun.
Here are some entertainment ideas that could boost the numbers of in-person attendees:
No one knows your audience better than you do. Try to think up some entertainment ideas they won’t want to miss.
On the surface, offering sessions exclusively to in-person attendees seems like the perfect way to get them to show up in greater numbers. But it can be a slippery slope.
One of the most common concerns we hear about Hybrid Events is not dwindling in-person attendance, but FOMO among virtual attendees. Our hybrid technology and management strategies make the virtual experience feel just as special as the face-to-face one.
Offering educational content exclusively to in-person attendees could make your virtual audience feel left out.
What’s more important to you: in-person attendance or virtual audience engagement? Let your answer to this question guide you as you plan your Hybrid Event.
Grow Hybrid Event Attendance with CommPartners
Hybrid Events are nothing new to CommPartners. We’ve merged in-person and virtual event experiences for 13 years. When you’re ready to maximize the reach and revenue of your events with a hybrid approach, our Event Producers are ready to help.
We take events and online education seriously. Consider running your Hybrid Event out of our award-winning Elevate LMS for greater engagement and a longer lifecycle.
A growing consensus suggests that microlearning will be the future of L&D. Tailor-made for millennials and Generation Z, this new philosophy of education seems set to dominate the world of online learning.
We have easier access to information than ever before. 2021 seems like a learner’s paradise. But there’s a dark side to all of this: your e-learning content faces stiff competition.
The lure of your LMS needs to be more enticing than Netflix, social media, and mobile games. Microlearning can be part of the solution.
You can probably guess what microlearning is from the name: learning delivered in bite-sized bits. But size is subjective. So how long should microlearning be?
Microlearning Gets Macro Results
But first, we’ll give you a micro crash course on microlearning.
Microlearning is more of a philosophy than something you can point to. The foundation of this philosophy is that, rather than emphasizing long-form learning content, you should use plenty of short materials, too.
Microlearning can take nearly any form. It could be a podcast, and infographic, a quiz, or a video. Just keep it short.
Keep in mind that macrolearning still matters. Short learning materials don’t count as microlearning if they exist in a vacuum. Longer learning opportunities need to exist, too. But microlearning can work toward those macro goals.
Here are some microlearning examples to get your gears turning:
Brief, informational writing (think blog posts and handouts)
For the purposes of this blog, we’ll refer primarily to the runtime of audio and video, which is far-and-away the favorite microlearning format. But the philosophy we’ll share today can apply to any learning material.
The Ideal Microlearning Length
Now, onto the question at hand: how long should microlearning be?
Historically, education has been dominated by roughly hour-long sessions. These alone won’t cut it in the digital age.
Think back to the last event you attended. Were you able to give speakers your full, undivided attention for the duration of their talks?
No matter how interesting the content, attention ebbs and flows. It’s only human. We’ve become accustomed to a fast paced, constant flow of information. We should deliver learning in brief bursts, too, if it should have any chance at keeping up.
So what’s the ideal microlearning length? Here’s our rule of thumb: 10 minutes or less.
Every rule of thumb has its limits, and this one does too. There can definitely be exceptions (more on that later).
Our Rationale Behind the Ideal Microlearning Length
A search on the web for the average human attention span will yield shockingly disparate results.
There is a persistent myth that the millennial attention span is no longer than that of a goldfish, or around 8 seconds. Writers all over the internet have parroted this claim.
Don’t believe it. This idea does a disservice to your learners (and probably goldfish, too). Experts have debunked this claim over and over again.
Others have suggested that somewhere closer to 15 minutes is more accurate. Yet this compelling article from the American Physiological Society shows that even these more generous claims were dredged up from murky data.
Ultimately, attention span is hard to measure. It exists on a spectrum, so often there is no black and white distinction between “paying attention” and “not paying attention.” You can never pinpoint the precise moment when attention declines.
Still, there is overwhelming evidence that consumers have come to prefer shorter content. You might think that the most downloaded app of 2020 was Zoom. In fact, it was TikTok.
Millions of people across the world sunk countless hours into an app that specialized in videos under 60 seconds in length (they’ve since boosted the cap to 3 minutes).
TikTok is for entertainment, not education. But its wild popularity has big implications for e-learning.
When determining how long microlearning should be, we settled on 10 minutes as a good goal to shoot for. This gives you enough time to get a whole lot of information across,
Not only does this break your learning materials into more convenient and digestible chunks for your learners, but it forces educators to think differently, too. Learning how to cut out the fluff and compress your message into a smaller timeframe is a useful exercise for all.
How Micro Is Too Micro?
Then there’s the follow-up question: how short is too short for microlearning?
Again, there are no hard and fast rules about what qualifies as microlearning and what doesn’t. But if we had to answer, we’d say that anything under 1 minute is unlikely to have substantial educational value for your learners.
That’s right—we’ve seen plenty of success with videos around 2 minutes in length. We use them ourselves. 120 seconds is probably longer than you give it credit for, and you can squeeze plenty of information in that timeframe.
A Better Rule of Thumb?
But there might be a better answer to this question: your microlearning content can be as short as you want it to be.
Like we mentioned earlier, microlearning is more of a mindset than anything else. The point is not to inflate your learning content when you’ve said what you want to say. You should always stop recording when you’ve made your point.
Remember that microlearning is more of a mindset than anything else. As you put together your learning portfolio, ask yourself:
Can I get this message across in a more succinct way?
Are there ample microlearning opportunities in my portfolio?
Learners crave diversity. Sprinkling elements of microlearning throughout your LMS will keep them learning their best.
Implement Microlearning with Elevate LMS
Our award-winning learning management system, Elevate, has all the tools you need to unleash the potential of microlearning. Mix and match the modules you need to create a diverse and engaging learning portfolio.