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!
Symphony Technology Group Acquires CommPartners, a Leading SaaS Provider of Learning Management System Software and Virtual Events
PALO ALTO, CA — Symphony Technology Group (“STG”), a leading Palo Alto-based private equity firm focused on investing in the software, data analytics and software-enabled technology services sectors, today announced that it has acquired CommPartners, a Columbia, Maryland-based learning management system (“LMS”), hybrid and virtual events company primarily serving the association market. The acquisition underscores STG’s commitment to building a unique, market-leading software platform offering continuing education, professional development, events, learning and content management solutions to associations, non- profits, healthcare & life sciences organizations.
CommPartners marks STG’s fourth investment in this platform following the acquisition of CadmiumCD, EthosCE, and Warpwire in 2020.
The entire CommPartners team will be joining the new entity that will be created through the integration of the four companies.
Over the coming months, the CommPartners team will work with the aforementioned entities to merge into one unified learning and events platform. With CommPartners bringing all of their products and services into the acquisition, the new platform will include many benefits familiar to their customers including the following:
Support for curriculum-based education, live webinar and webcasts, informal or just- in- time learning and community.
An elevated live stream experience complete with transitions, music, custom branding, and other crucial production elements to create exceptional professional education.
The seamless transition of events to enduring online education programs.
The CommPartners acquisition is part of a larger strategy by STG to build the world’s most-loved technology platform powering world-class events and enduring educational experiences. This fourth acquisition brings STG one step closer to simplifying the production of events while maximizing the value of online learning with a single, flexible platform designed to capture the chemistry of people, ideas, and knowledge.
“We are thrilled to be a part of STG’s platform of world-class education experiences,” said CommPartners co-founder and CEO, Rich Finstein. “Our Elevate Learning Management System will enrich STG’s ecosystem and enable organizations to offer and support a wide range of learning outcomes. In addition, we now are able to provide our association customers and members an all-in-one solution for onsite, hybrid and virtual learning experiences.”
“We are very excited to bring CommPartners into our expanding portfolio of industry-leading products and scale it even further by investing in new solution areas and complementary acquisitions,” said Rushi Kulkarni, Principal at STG.
About CommPartners CommPartners helps organizations conceive, develop and fulfill their education strategy. The company’s mission is to position their clients as the premiere source for knowledge within their communities. CommPartners’ solutions begin with Elevate LMS, the award-winning learning platform. To extend the value of Elevate, CommPartners provides a wide range of online education services including curriculum design, instructional design, webinars, webcasts, livestream programs and virtual conferences.
About Symphony Technology Group STG is the private equity partner to market leading companies in data, software, and analytics. The firm brings expertise, flexibility, and resources to build strategic value and unlock the potential of innovative companies. Partnering to build customer-centric, market winning portfolio companies, STG creates sustainable foundations for growth that bring value to all existing and future stakeholders. The firm is dedicated to transforming and building outstanding technology companies in partnership with world class management teams. STG’s expansive portfolio has consisted of more than 35 global companies.
Columbia, MD – CommPartners, a leading provider of online education and event solutions to associations, is pleased to announce the next generation of Elevate Conference Platform features. CommPartners developed these updates in consultation with clients after producing several hundred virtual conferences in 2020. Organizations recognized that they could increase attendance and reach new markets with compelling online experiences by providing these events to their communities. This coming year, it will be important to continue the trends towards greater attendee engagement and positive learning outcomes.
New features for 2021 include:
Trade Show Improvements: With the new Exhibitor Module, plus new engagement features and advanced analytics, virtual trade show participants will have greater independence and return on their investment.
Reporting Tools: Use new tools like the Web Content Attendance Report to produce trackable data for more actionable analytics.
Networking Tools: Enhancements to the Connect Module and the addition of the Discussion Widget will provide peer engagement opportunities through topical conversations and direct networking.
Attendee Engagement: Interactive attendee maps, conference directories, and a schedule planner are just a few of the enhancements that will be available for attendees.
Visual Enhancements: New app-like designs will provide an attractive presentation of your event and allow attendees a simple way to navigate to program content.
The new features will be available for current users of CommPartners’ Elevate LMS or as a standalone site.
In a summary of this past year, Richard Finstein, CommPartners CEO, shared,
“It has been a year of growth as we were able to respond to our clients’ needs in 2020. It’s upon us now to continue to meet those needs for virtual and hybrid events as we begin this next year. We are excited to bring these new features to our client community.”
Some features are available now, and CommPartners will release the rest of the features throughout the first half of 2021. To learn more about the features and CommPartners Virtual Conference services, please contact Meghan Gowen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About CommPartners CommPartners provides online education and event services to the association community. Our mission is to provide a well-planned and intelligent approach to sharing knowledge, with a core focus on creating positive user experiences. Over 1,300 associations have selected CommPartners to manage their eLearning programs. The CommPartners team is diverse, and together they share a common passion: to be strategic thinkers, dedicated to advancing a client’s mission through exceptional education programs.
Learners, meet your new advisor. Elevate admins can now make personalized content recommendations to learners through a Self-Assessment Quiz. The assessment gauges a learners’ knowledge of specific focus areas or quiz categories. Upon completing the assessment, the learner is presented with a list of asset recommendations designed to improve their knowledge level within each focus area. Lower scores will offer learners beginner-level courses, and higher scores will offer more advanced courses.
As the learner completes the recommended products, they are encouraged to repeat the quiz to identify areas they have improved in and target where they still need to continue their journey based on their scores.
This is a great onboarding tool for new members to gauge a baseline in certain competencies while helping them sift through your association’s extensive learning catalog. It’s not limited to just new members, anyone learning a new skill can take a quiz to receive individualized attention, “introduce the quiz at any time as a tool to provide a more nuanced and personalized learning experience for end-users,” says Eve Finstein, Elevate Implementation Manager.
To learn how to set up a Self-Assessment Quiz, click here. If you’re interested in learning how to integrate learning path strategies into your LMS or more about Elevate, contact Meghan Gowen at email@example.com.
Going Virtual with Kate is a weekly chat on Facebook Live with CommPartners’ Kate Ratcliffe. Kate discusses popular topics, answers questions, and shares ideas about all things virtual events during this time when many organizations are going virtual with their events. We know this decision can be a daunting task that brings with it many questions, especially for organizations that have never hosted an event online and now have to transition an entire conference to a virtual platform.
Find past episodes of Going Virtual with Kate right here, after they’ve aired on our Facebook page. Catch Kate live every Thursday at 4 p.m. EST on our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CommPartners.
CommPartners’ Peak User Group Conference started in 2018. After meeting clients face-to-face, and receiving positive feedback from participants, we knew this was something we wanted to repeat. So, we created a biennial, in-person learning and networking event that would bring together all the associates we work with within the eLearning space.
Now we have arrived at Peak 2020. Peak 2020 is a 2-day conference bringing together members from CommPartners’ growing community of clients, partners, and industry experts to network, collaborate, and learn. Enjoy a full schedule of Elevate LMS Training, Virtual Event Training, thought-leader presentations, and social opportunities with the thrilling backdrop of Nationals Park, home of the reigning World Series Champions, the Washington Nationals!
We designed this conference to specifically cater to prospective clients as well as current Elevate users using two educational tracks. Track A is more than just getting to know Elevate, it’s learning how to use the LMS to leverage your educational strategy. Track B focuses on getting the most out of Elevate, concentrating on creative and innovative uses for the LMS beyond what administrators might already be doing. These tracks are specialized to meet the needs of our learners, ensuring they have the tools to implement successful online educational programs.
If you have attended in the past, don’t expect the same content you saw at Peak 2018, says Kate Ratcliffe, Marketing Director, “as general technology is always changing, so is Elevate. We are going to highlight new features; we are going to highlight underused features”. Attendees will also have the opportunity to brainstorm with CommPartners’ team members to be sure they are best leveraging what they have learned throughout the conference within their organizations.
Whether you are already an Elevate user or you think it might be something you could use to enhance your education efforts, Peak 2020 has something to offer you:
What will you get out of Peak 2020?
Learn about Elevate LMS strategies and best practices
Make sure you are getting the most out of your current Elevate system or learn how your organization could benefit from an LMS
Hear about the latest online education trends from community experts
Pick up tips and tricks to keep your education program relevant and engaging
Earn CAE credits for your participation
Networking opportunities Engage fellow CommPartners’ clients to network and share ideas
Participate in fun activities such as dugout tours, batting practice, and have a picture taken with the world series trophy
Enjoy an evening at the ballpark with CommPartners’ staff and colleagues
Peak 2020 will be July 30-31, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Register now until March 26, 2020, for a “Pre-Season” discount. Please visit the Peak 2020 website for all the details. We are looking forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C., this summer!