Recently, at the Higher Logic Super Forum, I along with an association colleague facilitated a session on the virtues of developing an integrated approach for bringing together online community and an LMS as a single offering.  During the session, we discussed how associations typically have these areas configured as unique components. In reality, both provide opportunities for learning. While an online community is focused on facilitating peer collaboration and the learning management system (LMS) provides expert content, it’s natural they come together to support the stakeholder experience in a synergistic way.

A key connector in this relationship are webinars. Webinars have traditionally been positioned on their own through a registration and authentication page provided by the webinar vendor or a separate catalog of programs. An alternative approach is to promote and provide access to these events within a private community.

Here are five considerations for taking this approach:

  1. Registration will feel like a continuum of existing collaboration. Participants will have already been invested in the topic and now be encouraged in an intuitive way to now take the step to register and participate.
  2.  Participation from new and non-engaged members will be encouraged. Webinars are a tangible way to draw participants to specific areas of your Web presence. Offering them through the community will be a reason for some to create a profile and begin to participate in other social learning engagement opportunities.
  3. Leverage interaction before and after an event. Participants are able to see who is attending, exchange ideas, and engage the presenters before the event. Afterwards they can continue the conversation that in many cases are cut short through an hour program.
  4. Integrate results from webinar attendance with other participation metrics therefore providing a more complete picture of engagement. Host organizations will appreciate having a central repository to evaluate participation outcomes.
  5. Award badges or ribbons for participation or achievement from webinars in the same area where recognition is provided for other activities. Providing recognition will further encourage participation in future events.

We see webinar events becoming much more collaborative and transparent.  Bringing them into your community is natural way to build participation and provide synergy with your other education objectives.

If you have interest in learning more about integrating webinars with your community contact Meghan Gowen at

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